Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group largely focused in recent years on Google’s privacy practices, has called on a congressional investigation into the Internet giant’s “cozy” relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
In a letter sent Monday, Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies.
The group asked Issa to investigate contracts at several U.S. agencies for Google technology and services, the “secretive” relationship between Google and the U.S. National Security Agency, and the company’s use of a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration airfield in California.
Federal agencies have also taken “insufficient” action in response to revelations last year that Google Street View cars were collecting data from open Wi-Fi connections they passed, Consumer Watchdog said in the letter.
“We believe Google has inappropriately benefited from close ties to the administration,” the letter said. “Google is most consumers’ gateway to the Internet. Nonetheless, it should not get special treatment and access because of a special relationship with the administration.”
Consumer Watchdog may have an ally in Issa, a California Republican. In July, he sent a letter to Google raising concerns that White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin, the former head of global public policy for Google, had inappropriate e-mail contact with company employees.
“No one should take the swine flu vaccine–it is one of the most dangerous vaccines ever devised. It contains an immune adjuvant called squalene (MF-59) which has been shown to cause severe autoimmune disorders such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. This is the vaccine adjuvant that is strongly linked to the Gulf War syndrome, which killed over 10,000 soldiers and caused a 200% increase in the fatal disease ALS (Lou Gehreg disease). This virus H1N1 kills by causing a “cytokine storm”, which means that it cause the body’s immune system to overreact and that is why it is killing young people and is a mild disease in the elderly. (The elderly have weakened immune systems.) This vaccine is a very powerful immune stimulator and carries the real possibility of making the lethality of the virus much greater.
More shocking information on vaccines at the end of the article.
All Marines, active and reserve, are due for a flu shot unless they are medically exempt, according to new Defense Department guidelines.
“Comprehensive prevention measures must be enforced by Marine Corps leaders to prevent potential adverse operational consequences of influenza,” according to the guidelines authorized for public release by Lt. Gen. R.T. Tryon, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations.
The shot includes a vaccine for the 2009 h1n1 pandemic strain as one of three seasonal influenza components. Marines with a known allergic reaction and certain clinical conditions will be exempt.
DOD civilian employees, military retirees and family members are encouraged to receive the flu shot, based on available supply, age and those with higher risk of health complications arising from influenza.
Naval Hospital is ahead of the flu curve so it will be able to take care of its beneficiary population, said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Mercer, the environmental health officer with the hospital’s Preventive Medicine Department.
“On the whole, not seeing a lot of flu,” he said. “There have been no major outbreaks.”
The flu that is spreading matches up well with the vaccine so it has been effective, Mercer said.
“Of course, it is still early in flu season,” he said, adding that the hospital has also received the vaccine earlier this year than a few years ago.
Mercer said TRICARE typically covers flu shots for dependents and retirees so they can receive the shot from their primary care provider.
“We just ask they bring us documentation to include in their record,” he said.
Marines in active flying status exposed to altitude changes will be grounded for 72 hours following receiving the shot. Personnel not in active flying status, air traffic controllers for example, will be grounded for 12 hours. Flight surgeons may recommend return of those personnel to duty within the grounded period when necessary to meet operational commitments.
“Delinquent active and reserve personnel shall be identified and promptly immunized at earliest opportunity,” the order states. “Vaccination of unimmunized personnel will continue until vaccine supply is exhausted or the vaccine expiration date is reached.”
“Shaffer was previously known for alleging before the 9/11 Commission and Congress that a covert Pentagon task force called “Able Danger” had identified Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11 attacks, before the assaults on New York and the Pentagon. Shaffer’s claim was later rejected by congressional investigators, among others. But he repeats the assertion in the book.”
The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing – 10,000 copies – of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.
“Operation Dark Heart,” which was scheduled to be published this month by St. Martin’s Press, recounts the adventures and frustrations of an Army reservist, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who served in Afghanistan in 2003, a moment when the attention of Washington and the military had shifted to Iraq.
Shaffer, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, describes a number of planned covert operations, including an aborted cross-border surveillance operation using sophisticated eavesdropping technology that targeted high-level al-Qaeda operatives based in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The operation was shut down by military officials concerned about offending Pakistan, according to Shaffer’s account.
Shaffer’s book was reviewed and cleared in writing by the Army Reserve earlier this year, but this summer the Defense Intelligence Agency objected to the use of the names of American intelligence officers, among other issues.
A senior Pentagon official said that the DIA obtained a copy of the manuscript in mid-July, adding that the agency “did a quick review” and found “some issues we were very concerned with.” The agency then referred the matter to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which distributed the manuscript to other agencies, presumably including the CIA, “all of whom had major objections to things in the book,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official said the Defense Department “sent up a team to talk with the publisher some time ago,” and has been negotiating an agreement that might allow the Pentagon to purchase already printed copies of the book and permit a subsequent version to go forward as long as it complies with U.S. government requests.
Both sides now appear to have agreed on the contents of the second printing, but negotiations are focused on what to with the 10,000 copies already published.
The Pentagon is now negotiating with Shaffer’s publisher to buy the entire first print run, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The Pentagon’s plan to destroy all 10,000 copies of the initial printing was first reported Thursday night by the New York Times.
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.
But new Project Flicker investigative reports obtained by The Upshot through the Freedom of Information Act, which you can read here, show that DCIS investigators identified 264 Defense employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online. Astonishingly, nine of those had “Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information” security clearances, meaning they had access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets. All told, 76 of the individuals had Secret or higher clearances. But DCIS investigated only 52 of the suspects, and just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography. Without greater public disclosure of how these cases wound down, it’s impossible to know how or whether any of the names listed in the Project Flicker papers came in for additional scrutiny. It’s conceivable that some of them were picked up by local law enforcement, but it seems likely that most of the people flagged by the investigation did not have their military careers disrupted in the context of the DCIS inquiry.
Among those charged were Gary Douglass Grant, a captain in the Army Reserves and a judge advocate general, or military prosecutor. After investigators executing a search warrant found child pornography on his computer, he pleaded guilty last year to state charges of possession of obscene matter of a minor in a sexual act in California. Others included contractors for the NSA with Top Secret clearances; one of them — a former contractor — fled the country after being indicted and is believed to be in Libya.
“It is the industrialization tool for the entire US food supply”
“It brings all of Codex standards and guidelines into implementation”
“This bill means that no farmer can safe seed”
“If it does pass, you and I, our children, our loved ones will suffer and we will die”
Added: 22. August 2010
Dr Rima Laibow MD tells how massive public PUSH BACK has held of the forced industrialization of food bill, S.510 in the US Senate, since last November.
Now the PUSH BACK must continue or we risk the bill being rushed through in September as a “noncontroversial” unanimous consent bill. Action Item at www.healthfreedomusa.org to educate decision makers.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510) Makes it Illegal To Grow, Share, Trade And Sell Homegrown Food
S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.
Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create – without judicial review – if it passes. S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.
In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry. Clinton’s HACCP delighted the offending corporate (World Trade Organization “WTO”) meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control. Monsanto promoted HACCP.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president. Her advisor was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto. Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband’s firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.
S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.
1. It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.
2. It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:
COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.
3. It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.
4. It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements. Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.
5. It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds – How to criminalize them, for more details.
6. It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease. Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents. Animal diseases can be falsely declared. S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.
7. It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.
8. It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer. The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.
9. It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe. The five items listed – the Five Pillars of Food Safety – are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.
10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied. It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review. It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US.
The Pentagon plans to buy ten Russian military helicopters for Afghanistan’s fledgling air force at a cost of $180 million (£119 million), ignoring protests from Congressmen who say US aircraft should be considered.
Considered an easy-to-maintain workhorse, the M-17 is comparatively simple to fly and is well suited to Afghanistan’s high altitudes and desert landscapes Photo: GETTY
Defence Department officials have argued that purchasing the M-17s would accelerate the handover of control to Afghan forces.
Most Afghan pilots are in their 40s or older and have flown nothing else. Most of the 92 currently qualified pilots are products of the Soviet flying school.
Teaching them to use US helicopters such as the Chinook or Black Hawk would add as much as two years to making the Afghan National Army Air Corps self-reliant, according to the US military officials.
Considered an easy-to-maintain workhorse, the M-17 is comparatively simple to fly and is well suited to Afghanistan’s high altitudes and desert landscapes.
The US has already spent $648 million on 31 civilian M-17s which it customised for military use in Afghanistan, primarily to transport troops and equipment.
But after Barack Obama’s administration lifted the ban on Rosoboronexport, the Russian state arms exporter, it can now buy aircraft ready for military use direct from Russia, at a cost of $15 million to $18 million each, about half the price of a Chinook, the standard US transport helicopter. Continue reading »
(“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”)
A little-noticed provision in a homeland security funding bill could end efforts to make public photos of prisoners abused in US custody abroad, the American Civil Liberties Union stated on Wednesday.
Members of the House and Senate have added a provision proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to the funding bill that would make such photos exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, meaning that, if the law is upheld, the Pentagon could continue to suppress the photos, the ACLU said.
The measure would strike at the heart of the civil liberties group’s efforts to make some two thousand photos of alleged abuse public. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information request for the photos with the Department of Defense in 2003; they have been in court fighting for the photos’ release ever since.
In 2005, a US District Court judge in New York ordered the photos released, but the Bush administration appealed the ruling. In 2008, an appeals court upheld the ruling and again ordered the photos to be released.
Initially, the incoming Obama administration said it would comply with the ruling. But the administration reversed itself on the issue in May, and asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. The court is expected to decide on October 9 if it will hear the case.
But all efforts to make those photos public could be scuttled if a law exempting them from Freedom of Information requests is passed and upheld.
Take a close look who owns and controls the media in the US and you know why “not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.”
What Sibel Edmonds has to say really is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY.
Breaking Down the Under-Oath Disclosures of the Formerly-Gagged Sibel Edmonds…
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege” in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General’s report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. And, it’s true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds’ claims have previously been found “credible” “serious” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review,” by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.
So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI’s counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.
In this first break-down article, we’ll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.
In further breakdown articles, we’ll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense Department officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more.
Though Edmonds was careful to not “discuss the intelligence gathering method by the FBI,” she notes in her deposition that her claims are “Based on documented and provable, tracked files and based on…100 percent, documented facts.”
Among the specific charges she levels against current and former U.S. Congress Members in the deposition:
Dennis Hastert: “[S]everal categories. The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash … to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors … make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments’ interests, Turkish government’s interest and Turkish business entities’ interests. … other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons. … he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities. … foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week.”Stephen Solarz: “[A]s lobbyist … acted as conduit to deliver or launder contribution and other briberies to certain members of Congress, but also in pressuring outside Congress, and including blackmail, in certain members of Congress.”
Bob Livingston: “Until 1999 … not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests and entities, and after 1999 acting as a conduit to, again, further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly as a lobbyist, but also as an operative.”
Tom Lantos: “[N]ot only … bribe[ry], but also … disclosing highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey. … other very serious criminal conduct.”
Unnamed Congresswoman: (Though not identified as such during the deposition, Edmonds has since confirmed her to be a Democrat) “[T]his Congresswoman’s married with children, grown children, but she is bisexual. … So they have sent Turkish female agents, and that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse … and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman’s house was bugged. … to be used for certain things that they wanted to request … I don’t know if she did anything illegal afterward. … the Turkish entities, wanted both congressional related favoritism from her, but also her husband was in a high position in the area in the state she was elected from, and these Turkish entities ran certain illegal operations, and they wanted her husband’s help. But I don’t know if she provided them with those.”
Roy Blunt: “[T]he recipient of both legally and illegally raised donations, campaign donations from …Turkish entities.”
Dan Burton: (And others) “[E]xtremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in [covert] operations that were … against … foreign government[s] and foreign entities against the United States’ interests.”
Hastert, Livingston and Solarz, as Edmonds notes in her deposition, would all go on to become highly-paid lobbyist for Turkey and/or Turkish public interest groups after they left the U.S. Congress.
In this July 11, 2008 file photo, Larraine McGee of Huntsville, Texas, with a photo of her son, Staff Sgt. Christopher Everett in the foreground, listens as she prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON – Defense contractor KBR Inc. has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work, even as it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
The announcement of the new KBR contract came just months after the Pentagon, in strongly worded correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, rejected the company’s explanation of serious mistakes in Iraq and its proposed improvements. A senior Pentagon official, David J. Graff, cited the company’s “continuing quality deficiencies” and said KBR executives were “not sufficiently in touch with the urgency or realities of what was actually occurring on the ground.”
“Many within DOD (the Department of Defense) have lost or are losing all remaining confidence in KBR’s ability to successfully and repeatedly perform the required electrical support services mission in Iraq,” wrote Graff, commander of the Defense Contract Management Agency, in a Sept. 30 letter.
In fiscal 1999, the Department of Defense was “missing” $2.3 trillion dollars. To put that amount of money in perspective, it is approximately 3X what President-elect Obama is proposing to spend to revitalize America.
In fiscal 2000, the Department of Defense was “missing” $1.1 trillion, about 1.5X what President-elect Obama wants to invest in America.
So between October 1998 and September 2000, the Department of Defense was “missing” $3.3 trillion. Because the amount of money disappearing is so enormous, years ago we started a archive of articles on the “missing money” to try to keep up with the trillions sliding out of the federal accounts.
From 1997 to March 2001, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) who served as the chief financial officer for the Department of Defense was William J. Lynn III. In that position, he was the chief financial officer for the Department of Defense and was the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for all budgetary and fiscal matters. That means he was the person responsible to make sure no money went missing and that the Department of Defense published audited financial statements – which it failed to do in those years and every year since.
Today, President Elect Obama nominated William J. Lynn III as the Deputy Secretary of Defense. The press release said, “Lynn brings decades of experience and expertise in reforming government spending and making the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely.”
Obama also nominated Robert Hale to Lynn’s former position, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Hale served as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller). That means that Hale, same as Lynn, was in charge of the money when all the money disappeared.
I guess the guys who got the last $3.3 trillion were pretty happy with Mr. Lynn and Mr. Hale and decided to bring them back.
The U.S. military is now spending more – on a constant dollar basis – than it did in 1968, when the Defense Department had more than 500,000 soldiers stationed in South Vietnam. If you include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then the U.S. military spent about $580 billion in 2007; that’s about 33 percent more – again, measured in constant (year 2000) dollars – than the United States spent in 1968. Even without the cost of those ongoing wars, America’s military spending is higher now than at any time since 1945.
A recent study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis, a Washington-based think tank, provides yet more sobering numbers. The report, written by the CSBA’s Steven M. Kosiak, concludes that “since 2001, some $904 billion has been provided to cover the cost of US military operations. This includes some $687 billion for Iraq, $184 billion for Afghanistan and $33 billion for various homeland security activities.”
My conclusion is that the government and the corporations are considering US soldiers as cannon fodder.
U.S military contractor KBR, a former subisidary of Halliburton, is facing a number of lawsuits over its activities in Iraq, and elsewhere.
KBR is the largest contractor for the United States Army and a top-ten contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense.
In one class-action suit Joshua Eller, a civilian who worked for the U.S. Air Force in 2006 at the Balad air force base northeast of Baghdad, alleges KBR ‘knowingly and intentionally supplied to U.S. forces and other individuals food that was expired, spoiled, rotten, or that may have been contaminated with shrapnel, or other materials’.
KBR ‘supplied water which was contaminated, untreated, and unsafe’, Eller charged, detailing a number of examples.
He said Halliburton and KBR ‘shipped ice served to U.S. forces in trucks that had been used to carry human remains and that still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains.’
The lawsuit says the ‘defendants burned medical waste that contained human body parts on the open air burn pit. Wild dogs in the area raided the burn pit and carried off human remains. The wild dogs could be seen roaming the base with body parts in their mouths.’
Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.
The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF’s military capabilities. The deal was approved amid public and secret messages from Washington, with the Americans expressing their reservations about a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear sites.
“The Russians are right! We’re wrong! Georgia started it, the Russians ended it,” Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, a California Republican, told Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried, who testified on administration policy to both the Senate panel and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. _________________________________________________________________________________
U.S. examines rebuilding Georgia’s military
WASHINGTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – The United States said on Tuesday it would examine how to help rebuild Georgia’s military after Tbilisi’s devastating war with Russia, risking renewed Russian wrath over military aid to the small U.S. ally.
But some lawmakers berated the Bush administration for its pro-Georgia policy, saying the Russian-Georgian war had highlighted U.S. weakness and harmed ties with Moscow — and they questioned the cost of the U.S. committment to Tbilisi.
The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.
Doug Rokke, Ph.D. – BLN Contributing Writer
(Note: Dr. Doug Rokke is the former Director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project. It was his task to clean up the radioactive battlefields of the Gulf War. Today, this leading opponent of nuclear warfare is vitally concerned that sand contaminated by radioactive munitions exploded in the Middle East has been shipped to Idaho for burial. And more, much more. He asked me to call his warning to public attention.)
During the summer of 1991, the United States military had collected artillery, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, conventional and unconventional munitions, trucks, etc. at Camp Doha in Kuwait.
As result of carelessness this weapons depot caught fire with consequent catastrophic explosion resulting in death, injury, illness and extensive environmental contamination from depleted uranium and conventional explosives.
Recently the emirate of Kuwait required the United States Department of Defense to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil sand and other residue was collected and has been shipped back to the United States for burial by American Ecology at Boise Idaho.
When Bob Nichols, an investigative journalist, and I contacted American Ecology we found out that they had absolutely no knowledge of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48, U.S. Army PAM 700-48, U.S. Army Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, and all of the medical orders dealing with depleted uranium contamination, environmental remediation procedures, safety, and medical care .
They had never heard of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for dealing with mixed – hazardous waste such as radioactive materials and conventional explosives byproducts. (reference “Approaches for the Remediation of Federal Facility Sites Contaminated with Explosives or Radioactive Wastes”, EPA/625/R-93/013, September 1993).
The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.
Sadly the known adverse health and environmental hazards from uranium weapons contamination are in our own backyard. The EPA has listed the former Nuclear Metals- Starmet uranium weapons manufacturing site in Concord Ma. On EPA’s Superfund National Priority List because it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment.
WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) — A 23-year-old U.S. soldier says he’s suing the Department of Defense for allegedly discriminating against him because he’s an atheist.
Army Spc. Jeremy Hall, now serving in Iraq, says he lost his Christian faith while serving two tours of duty in Iraq, causing him to be ostracized, denied promotions and almost getting him killed, CNN reported Wednesday.
Hall contends there is a pattern of discrimination against non-Christians in the military, saying, “I think it’s utterly and totally wrong. Unconstitutional.”
He told CNN that other troops threatened his life and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him, fearing for his safety.
CNN said Hall filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense in March, claiming his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated. Some former military men agree, saying the Pentagon is tacitly encouraging evangelical Christian proselytizing within its ranks to create a “godly army.”
But Deputy Undersecretary Bill Carr told the broadcaster that complaints of evangelizing are “relatively rare” and that the Pentagon isn’t pushing one faith among troops.
9/11 was an inside job, an catalyst event that was created to secure the oil in Iraq, take away your civil liberties, completely undermine your constitutional rights, destroy the middle class in the US and accelerate the New World Order.
It’s all about Problem-Reaction-Solution:
They created the problem (9/11).
The people reacted as expected (allowing to trade in freedom for security).
They then present the solution they wanted to implement in the first place (Patriot Act, FEMA, Homeland Security, Presidential Directive 51)
The following is an excerpt from surviving-martial-law.pdf :“…Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would and will suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In January of 2002, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a CIA plan put forward to President Bush shortly after 9/11 by CIA Director George Tenet titled, “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” which was “outlining a clandestine anti-terror campaign in 80 countries around the world. What he was ready to propose represented a striking and risky departure for U.S. policy and would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history.” The plan entailed CIA and Special Forces “covert operations across the globe,” and at “the heart of the proposal was a recommendation that the president give the CIA what Tenet labeled “exceptional authorities” to attack and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.” Tenet cited the need for such authority “to allow the agency to operate without restraint — and he wanted encouragement from the president to take risks.” Among the many authorities recommended was the use of “deadly force.”
Further, “Another proposal was that the CIA increase liaison work with key foreign intelligence services,” as “Using such intelligence services as surrogates could triple or quadruple the CIA’s effectiveness.” The Worldwide Attack Matrix “described covert operations in 80 countries that were either underway or that he was now recommending. The actions ranged from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks,” as well as “In some countries, CIA teams would break into facilities to obtain information.”
P2OG: “Commit terror, to incite terror… in order to react to terror”
In 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a “Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism,” portions of which were leaked to the Federation of American Scientists. According to the document, the “War on Terror” constitutes a “committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach,” which will require the US to engage in a “long, at times violent, and borderless war.”As the Asia Times described it, this document lays out a blueprint for the US to “fight fire with fire.” Many of the “proposals appear to push the military into territory that traditionally has been the domain of the CIA, raising questions about whether such missions would be subject to the same legal restraints imposed on CIA activities.” According to the Chairman of the DSB, “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets.”
Specifically, the plan “recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.” The purpose of P2OG would be in “‘stimulating reactions’ among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to ‘quick-response’ attacks by US forces.” In other words, commit terror to incite terror, in order to react to terror.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2002 that, “The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised,” and quoted then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, “Prevention and preemption are … the only defense against terrorism.” Chris Floyd bluntly described P2OG in CounterPunch, saying, “the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let’s say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people–your family, your friends, your lovers, you–in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.”
The Pentagon has also declined to sign agreements required by law that cover 12 other military sites on the Superfund list of the most polluted places in the country. The contracts would spell out a remediation plan, set schedules, and allow the EPA to oversee the work and assess penalties if milestones are missed.
The actions are part of a standoff between the Pentagon and environmental regulators that has been building during the Bush administration, leaving the EPA in a legal limbo as it addresses growing concerns about contaminants on military bases that are seeping into drinking water aquifers and soil.
Under executive branch policy, the EPA will not sue the Pentagon, as it would a private polluter. Although the law gives final say to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson in cleanup disputes with other federal agencies, the Pentagon refuses to recognize that provision. Military officials wrote to the Justice Department last month to challenge EPA’s authority to issue the orders and asked the Office of Management and Budget to intervene.
Experts in environmental law said the Pentagon’s stand is unprecedented.
“This is stunning,” said Rena Steinzor, who helped write the Superfund laws as a congressional staffer and now teaches at the University of Maryland Law School and is president of the nonprofit Center for Progressive Reform. “The idea that they would refuse to sign a final order — that is the height of amazing nerve.”
Pentagon officials say they are voluntarily cleaning up the three sites named in the EPA’s “final orders” — Fort Meade in Maryland, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
Fort Meade borders residential areas in fast-growing Anne Arundel County; Tyndall and McGuire are in less-populated regions. At all three sites, the military has released toxic chemicals — some known to cause cancer and other serious health problems — into the soil and groundwater.
But the EPA has been dissatisfied with the extent and progress of the Pentagon’s voluntary efforts.
“Final orders” are the EPA’s most potent enforcement tool. If a polluter does not comply, the agency usually can go to court to force compliance and impose fines up to $28,000 a day for each violation.
The U.S. government has quietly gone ahead and formed several special security organizations for policing the internet.
Because there is such a (trained, not to mention talented) manpower shortage right now (and in the foreseeable future), this was done on the cheap. An effective force could not be recruited, even if everyone agreed to accept government pay levels, because of the huge expense.
One solution that was suggested even before September 11, 2001, and eventually caught on, was to organize and reward the pro bono cybersecurity efforts that have been going on for some time. A lot of talented whitehats just get pissed off and go after bad guys on their own nickel.
An example is HoneyNet (the pro bono network of honeypots set up to attract, analyze and document backhat activities and techniques). One suggestion that did not fly was setting up a “CyberCorps” as a separate corporation, with a few really good people to run it, and enough budget to pay market rate for the right people, and still have a close working relationship with government agencies and commercial firms that spend a lot on net security (banks and brokerages, for example.)
Instead, a “Cyber Corps” program was set up to give tuition assistance to college students studying computer security, in order to increase the number of qualified experts in this area. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security established working relationships with existing computer security groups, while the Department of Defense encouraged the services to set up computer security operations. The air force established the Cyber Command, a major operation that, it is hoped, will give the air force the lead (and most of the budget) for defense related Internet security operations.Continue reading »
‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Michel Chossudovsky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and an editor at the Centre for Research on Globalization, www.globalresearch.ca
Beware the US military’s experiments with climatic warfare, says Michel Chossudovsky
Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.
Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’.
During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.
Weather-modification, according to the US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, ‘offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary’, capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes: ‘Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.’ Continue reading »
The Pentagon is expanding “Information Operations” on the Internet with purposefully set up foreign news websites that are designed to look like independent media sources but in reality are nothing more than direct military propaganda.
“The Pentagon is setting up a global network of foreign-language news websites, including an Arabic site for Iraqis, and hiring local journalists to write current events stories and other content that promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent messages.”
The front pages of the sites appear to be populated with regionalized news stories, but the disclaimers buried within the sites and accessible only via small links at the bottom of the pages reveal that all three are run by the US Department of Defense.
See screenshots below for the disclaimers (click to link through):
“(Mawtani.com is) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to support the resolution No. 1723 (of the) Security Council of the United Nations. (Mawtani.com) highlights and emphasizes the move towards greater regional stability through bilateral and multilateral cooperation … and the steps taken by governments towards stability in Iraq.”
Though Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England commented that the sites are “an essential part of (their) responsibility … to shape the security environment in their respective areas.”, other Pentagon spokesmen have claimed that the sites’ content is not intended as propaganda, but is “a counter to extremist propaganda … with truth.”
Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations commented that the websites are designed to counter enemies on the internet who put out information that is not in keeping with the interests and goals of the U.S. military:
“It’s important to … engage these foreign audiences and inform,” Vickers said. “Our adversaries use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information, and these websites are a good vehicle.”
Since when has the federal government and its war machine military been concerned with promoting the truth? Continue reading »
Imagine if the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could be effectively shut down by a foreign adversary with the flip of a switch? That’s, in part, the the concern behind the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Trust in Integrated Circuits program, reports IEEE Spectrum, in a fascinating article that explores the underbelly of national security and globalization:
Last September, Israeli jets bombed a suspected nuclear installation in northeastern Syria. Among the many mysteries still surrounding that strike was the failure of a Syrian radar—supposedly state-of-the-art—to warn the Syrian military of the incoming assault. It wasn’t long before military and technology bloggers concluded that this was an incident of electronic warfare—and not just any kind.
Post after post speculated that the commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in the Syrian radar might have been purposely fabricated with a hidden “backdoor” inside. By sending a preprogrammed code to those chips, an unknown antagonist had disrupted the chips’ function and temporarily blocked the radar.
That same basic scenario is cropping up more frequently lately, and not just in the Middle East, where conspiracy theories abound. According to a U.S. defense contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity, a “European chip maker” recently built into its microprocessors a kill switch that could be accessed remotely. French defense contractors have used the chips in military equipment, the contractor told IEEE Spectrum. If in the future the equipment fell into hostile hands, “the French wanted a way to disable that circuit,” he said. Spectrum could not confirm this account independently, but spirited discussion about it among researchers and another defense contractor last summer at a military research conference reveals a lot about the fever dreams plaguing the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).
The regeneration of lost body parts has just moved from science fiction to U.S. military policy.
Yesterday the Department of Defense announcedthe creation of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which will go by the happy acronym AFIRM. According to DOD’s news service, AFIRM will “harness stem cell research and technology … to reconstruct new skin, muscles and tendons, and even ears, noses and fingers.” The government is budgeting $250 million in public and private money for the project’s first five years. NIH and three universities will be on the team.
The people who brought you the Internet are about to bring you replacement fingers.
Department Of Defense’s Latest Numbers: 31,590 Troops Wounded On Battle Field
The Department of Defense has released its latest American military casualty numbers for those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the figures reveal non-fatal casualties that go well beyond the more than 4,000 U.S. troops who have died so far.
As of April 5, a total of 36,082 members of the U.S. military have been wounded in action and killed in Iraq, since the beginning of the war in March 2003, and in Afghanistan, where the war there began in October 2001. The 36,082 number breaks down to 4,492 deaths and 31,590 wounded. According to the same DoD “casualty” counts, an additional 38,631 U.S. military personnel have also been removed from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan for “non-hostile-related medical air transports.”
“That’s a tremendous number,” said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocate group Veterans for Common Sense, who believes these latest figures paint a more realistic picture of the true cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars. He is concerned troop casualties, including those who have been wounded, killed and medically transported, is now nearing 75,000.Continue reading »
Imagine a world of streets lined with video cameras that alert authorities to any suspicious activity. A world where police officers can read the minds of potential criminals and arrest them before they commit any crimes. A world in which a suspect who lies under questioning gets nabbed immediately because his brain has given him away.
Though that may sound a lot like the plot of the 2002 movie “Minority Report,” starring Tom Cruise and based on a Philip K. Dick novel, I’m not talking about science fiction here; it turns out we’re not so far away from that world. But does it sound like a very safe place, or a very scary one?
It’s a question I think we should be asking as the federal government invests millions of dollars in emerging technology aimed at detecting and decoding brain activity. And though government funding focuses on military uses for these new gizmos, they can and do end up in the hands of civilian law enforcement and in commercial applications. As spending continues and neurotechnology advances, that imagined world is no longer the stuff of science fiction or futuristic movies, and we postpone at our peril confronting the ethical and legal dilemmas it poses for a society that values not just personal safety but civil liberty as well.
Consider Cernium Corp.’s “Perceptrak” video surveillance and monitoring system, recently installed by Johns Hopkins University, among others. This technology grew out of a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense — to develop intelligent video analytics systems. Unlike simple video cameras monitored by security guards, Perceptrak integrates video cameras with an intelligent computer video. It uses algorithms to analyze streaming video and detect suspicious activities, such as people loitering in a secure area, a group converging or someone leaving a package unattended. Since installing Perceptrak, Johns Hopkins has reported a 25 percent reduction in crime.
But that’s only the beginning. Police may soon be able to monitor suspicious brain activity from a distance as well. New neurotechnology soon may be able to detect a person who is particularly nervous, in possession of guilty knowledge or, in the more distant future, to detect a person thinking, “Only one hour until the bomb explodes.” Today, the science of detecting and decoding brain activity is in its infancy. But various government agencies are funding the development of technology to detect brain activity remotely and are hoping to eventually decode what someone is thinking. Scientists, however, wildly disagree about the accuracy of brain imaging technology, what brain activity may mean and especially whether brain activity can be detected from afar.
Yet as the experts argue about the scientific limitations of remote brain detection, this chilling science fiction may already be a reality. In 2002, the Electronic Privacy Information Center reported that NASA was developing brain monitoring devices for airports and was seeking to use noninvasive sensors in passenger gates to collect the electronic signals emitted by passengers’ brains. Scientists scoffed at the reports, arguing that to do what NASA was proposing required that an electroencephalogram (EEG) be physically attached to the scalp. Continue reading »
NEW YORK – A newly disclosed secret memo authored by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in March 2003 that asserts President Bush has unlimited power to order brutal interrogations of detainees also reveals a radical interpretation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The memo, declassified yesterday as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, cites a still-secret DOJ memo from 2001 that found that the “Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.”
The October 2001 memo was almost certainly meant to provide a legal basis for the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, which President Bush launched the same month the memo was issued. As a component of the Department of Defense, the NSA is a military agency.
“The recent disclosures underscore the Bush administration’s extraordinarily sweeping conception of executive power,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The administration’s lawyers believe the president should be permitted to violate statutory law, to violate international treaties, and even to violate the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. They believe that the president should be above the law.“Continue reading »
The military adventurers of the George W. Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups of men thought that they were the “smartest guys in the room”, the title of Alex Gibney’s prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neo-conservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination. Continue reading »
Global confidence in the US economy has reached zero, as was proved by last month’s stock market meltdown. But there is an enormous anomaly in the US economy above and beyond the subprime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble and the prospect of recession: 60 years of misallocation of resources, and borrowings, to the establishment and maintenance of a military-industrial complex as the basis of the nation’s economic lifeContinue reading »