Wounded Warriors Project is a Fraud- Making Millions Off Disabled Veterans

WWPscoundrels

My first experience with the Wounded Warriors Project came in 2006, when I made several donations from between $200 and $500 to the organization. I was a stock broker at the time and my income allowed for such idiocy. I guess you could say that I had more money than I had sense, but more importantly, I gave the money because I felt that I needed to do something to take part in the war effort, and what better way than to provide financial assistance to those who were coming back from the wars in the Middle East maimed and wounded. At least that is where I thought the money that I was donating was going.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Drug Lord El Chapo Tells ISIS His Men Will Destroy Them

el chapo ISIS

The world’s most wanted drug lord has declared war on the Islamic State, promising the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, that his narcotics cartel will wipe them off the planet.

“My men will destroy you,”’ El Chapo huffs to the ISIS leader in an encrypted email that was leaked to a cartel-linked blogger in Mexico. Continue reading

US Airstrikes Kill Hundreds Of Civilians In Syria And Iraq

US Bomb Plane

US warplanes began bombing Iraqi targets in June 2014. Last September, US Syrian airstrikes followed. Washington falsely claims it’s waging war on the Islamic State (IS) – with pinpoint accuracy against positions and fighters targeted. It’s just the opposite.

Bombing aims to destabilize Iraq and Syria more than already. Infrastructure sites are struck – not IS fighters as claimed. America is its de facto air force.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) in charge of the air campaign falsely claims few civilian deaths at most – saying pinpoint targeting avoids them, one of the many Big Lies proliferated in all US wars.

Continue reading

Here’s the CIA’s Just-Released Top Secret File on Saudi Ties to 9/11

Here's the CIA's Just-Released Top Secret File on Saudi Ties to 9/11

True to form, the CIA waited until 4:16 p.m. EDT this afternoon to release a trove of documents related to the September 11 attacks. Deep within one of those documents is a section on everything the agency learned after 9/11 about “Issues Relating to Saudi Arabia.” We can now share it here for the first time.

Continue reading

Story Unravels: NBC News Confirms Obama Lied About Bin Laden Raid: Sources Include High Level U.S. Intelligence Officers

obama-lies-again

Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Samuel Hersh claimed yesterday that the Obama administration lied to the American people about certain aspects aspects of the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. According to Hersh, the United States did not act alone when Navy SEALs were sent to capture or kill the world’s most wanted terrorist. The real story, according to the report, is that members of Pakistani intelligence services were privy to the raid months before it happened and that it was a “walk-in” Pakistani intelligence officer who gave up the location of Bin Laden rather than a CIA operation that tracked him down by following various couriers. Further, it has been claimed that Bin Laden was not buried at sea the way the Obama administration said, but rather, his limbs were simply thrown from the helicopter after the mission (suggesting that some portion of his body, perhaps his head, were retained for posterity’s sake). Continue reading

The CIA Just Released the Documents That George W. Bush Used to Sell the Iraq War

Twelve years after the U.S. launched its invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the secret intelligence report repeatedly cited by the George W. Bush administration as it campaigned for war has finally been made available to the American public.

The 2002 National Intelligence Estimate provides further proof that the president and his aides purposefully mischaracterized and exaggerated the dangers posed by the Iraqi regime in an effort to stoke fear about a nuclear or biological attack on the U.S. and its allies. A close reading of the report, which reflects the consensus of U.S. intelligence at the time, reveals an intelligence community at odds with itself about the nature of the potential threat.

Continue reading

Busted: BBC Taliban Report Contains Sandy Hook’s “Noah”

While much furor and speculation has surrounded the Sandy Hook event, those questioning mainstream media have turned up a great deal of subterfuge and trickery on the part of establishment outlets.

jays

 As usual, no explanations of these oddities are ever offered beyond the usual ad hominem attack of “conspiracy theorist.”

Continue reading

Depleted uranium used by US forces blamed for birth defects and cancer in Iraq

25mm rounds of depleted uranium ammunition (AFP Photo / Stan Honda)

(RT) Cancer is more common than flu in the Iraqi city of Najaf, about 160 km south of Baghdad, one local doctor told RT. After the start of the war rates of leukemia and birth defects “rose dramatically” due to use of depleted uranium by the US military. Continue reading

Iraqi Birth Defects Are Much Worse Than Hiroshima

iraqi birth defects
(warning: graphic images)
The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Continue reading

U.S. Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture, Kill, and Abuse Civilians

u.s., commandos, in, 75, countries, are, teaching, militaries, to, torture,, kill,, and, abuse, civilians, US Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture Kill and Abuse Civilians

(PolicyMIC) -While aggressive war, drone strikes, and a global network of military bases are the most visible aspects of American hegemonic power, what is often overlooked is the U.S. policy of training, assisting, and subsidizing foreign militaries. Although these actions are largely covert and discreet, they serve the same purpose of hegemonic control, diminish peace and national security, and help contribute to the subjugation of foreign citizens.

The training of foreign militaries to serve the interests of the American state goes all the way back to at least the Cold War. The U.S. used taxpayer money and weapons to subsidize foreign governments and militaries that were “anti-communist” even if the regimes were incredibly brutal and ruthless. All an authoritarian had to do was refer to his political opponents as “communists” and the Americans came rushing in.

In nearly every continent, the U.S. taught extremely fascistic, right-wing governments the art of cracking down on domestic dissent, jailing and torturing political opponents, centralizing power, making deals beneficial to American corporations, and employing death squads. Cheaper and less visible than directly invading and overthrowing governments the U.S. didn’t like, sock puppet dictators were the preferred means of implementing policy.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 left very little justification for an American imperial position throughout the globe, yet those same Cold War policies were not only not discarded, but expanded upon. Back in 2010, President Obama and the Pentagon began implementing a strategy with a larger emphasis on “combat operations” and military-to-military coordination. U.S. Special Forces are now operating in (at least) 75 countries, teaching their governments more efficient means of subjugating their populations, creating chaos, and serving the interests of the American empire.

Syria is the most recent example of this policy. While publicly claiming that the U.S. is helping build schools and hospitals in Syria, the Associated Press and New York Times reports document that the U.S. is training and arming Syrian “rebels” opposing the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. With the help of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, most of the weapons are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, many of whom belonging to groups that just a few years ago were killing U.S. Marines in Iraq.

President Obama, secretly and without the consent of Congress, sent more than 150 Special Forces to Jordan to train the anti-Assad fighters on the use of sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

What is even more disturbing is that the Syrian “rebels” have most likely already used chemical weapons, have a reputation for beheading prisoners, and that U.S. support is prolonging the conflict in the region. The reasons for U.S. intervention are of course complicated and multifaceted, but it most likely has to do with attempts to destabilize Iran’s strongest ally and what the Romans called divide et impera.

Syria may be the most dangerous example of the Obama administration’s enhanced policy of covert military training and assistance, but unfortunately it is nowhere near the only one. In Mali, along with building a brand new drone base, U.S. AFRICOM chief General Carter Ham admitted that while training Mali’s military, they “skipped ethics.” Targeting dissidents based on ethnicity and executing them is a staple of the U.S.-trained Mali government.

In Indonesia, the Obama administration resumed training and assisting an elite Indonesian military unit whose members have been convicted of massive human rights abuses in East Timor. U.S.-trained forces in Guatemala have incredibly close ties to some of the region’s most violent drug cartels and are notorious for their brutal treatment of civilians during the Guatemalan civil war.

A report from the Washington Office on Latin America details a U.S. policy called “the Merida Initiative” designed to “help the region’s militaries take on internal security roles” and use American police to train local police. Although President Obama publicly denounced the 2009 military coup in Honduras, Wikileaks cables later revealed that the Obama administration had members of the State Department meet with the illegitimate new Honduran “president” to help coordinate the implementation of the Merida Initiative.

The policy of militarizing, arming, and subsidizing foreign governments, especially those with well-known and documented human rights abuses and commissions of war crimes, appears to be a staple of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. But these policies help contribute to the spread of dictatorships, humanitarian crises, and instability while making the possibility of resentment and blowback much more likely.

It is becoming more and more clear that the bipartisan consensus policy of military interventionism is a threat to peace and security. Neutrality and non-intervention, as the Founders recommended, is a far more practical alternative and is still the best way to spread the American values our politicians are so fond of endorsing.

Breaking: Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by Israel (Updates)

Finland says cargo ship can sail again, but without its 69 missiles, explosives or it’s Ukrainian captain

 

HELSINKI — “A British-registered ship (editor’s correction, ship is not “British-registered”) that was held in a Finnish port after authorities discovered 69 surface-to-air [Anti-ballistic] missiles and 160 tons of explosives onboard has permission to travel again, but without those materials or its captain, a port official said Monday.

The M/S Thor Liberty was headed to China and had docked in the southern Finnish port of Kotka to pick up anchor chains when police last week discovered and seized the missiles and explosive piric acid on board.”

Finnish authorities have confirmed the seizure of 69 Patriot missiles manufactured by Raytheon Corporation today.

(A popular graphic going viral on the internet, edited to eliminate an inappropriate ethnic reference)

During a routine search of the MS Thor Liberty, a ship flagged by the Isle of Man, at the Finnish port of Kotka, authorities found 69 Patriot missiles of a type capable of intercepting ICBMs, the most modern available and America’s most sensitive military technology.

Update:  The official publication of the shipping industry, The Maritime Executive states:

“Finnish police launched a probe on a ship bound for Shanghai, China, after they discovered 69 surface-to-air Patriot missiles, explosive materials, and propelling charges illegally aboard. “  Note, what had been called by some “chemicals” are now “propelling charges.”  What they propel, of course, are guided missiles from nuclear submarines and plutonium and uranium components into contact to inititate nuclear explosions.

Germany officials have offered to take responsibility for the shipment to China though there is no record of Germany ever having received the missiles in the first place.  There had been a shipment of PAC 2 missiles, 64, several months ago, which had been completed.  No further shipment had been scheduled. 

Germany is responding to a request from Netanyahu to Merkel to save Israel from a potential spy scandal.Similarly, a South Korean paper has published a story about the missiles but at no time has the South Korean embassy in Helsinki, made a statement or made contact with authorities as would be expected.  This one gets more interesting every day.

Germany has a long history of working with Israel, call it “war guilt” or profiteering.  The centrifuges used to develop nuclear weapons that were distributed by Israel, first to South Africa then by Israeli Johann Meyer to Libya were of Germany origin.  Saddam Hussein received his biological and chemical warfare equipment from Germany, but through Bush family sources, not Israel. 

We are told the missiles heading to China were to be “cloned” for sale along with radar and launch units, already there.  They would be sold worldwide under Israeli branding in competition with the US.  Israel is free to sell to clients the US would be likely to refuse. 

The JA 20 Stealth fighter, built from plans stolen by Bush era White House Israeli “dual-citizens” is only one of dozens of defense projects stolen by Israeli spies and sent to China.  China has every current nuclear weapons design and plans to upgrade its submarine fleet and will be building aircraft carriers eventually.  All will be done with American technology.

Here is the photo of the ship’s ‘very special’ explosives in shrink wrapped cardboard boxes. Do you really think this is how western Allied/NATO countries transport munitions, or would allow hugely expensive anti-ballistic missiles to be put on a ship like this? If there was a detonation device in one of these boxes that could set it off (like with a satellite phone call), it would go up like an A-bomb. No one would have been looking for the 69 Patriot ABM’s listed as rockets or firecrackers. There is one rouge country’s Intelligence service, an American ally, that could do this in it’s sleep because it had extensive practice while building it’s WMD programs, the details of which our America government still holds secret from Americans.

Attempts to represent this as a sale of “second hand” PAC 2 missiles, stories filling the blogosphere, fail to address that these are PAC 3 advanced missiles and labeled for shipment to China, not Korea.

Patriot ICBM Interceptor – PAC3

The next stop for this cargo, valued at over $4 billion even without the associated radar, which may well have been shipped via some other method, was Shanghai, China.

Yet the Chinese government has given an official denial of any knowledge of this transaction.They went even further, they claimed the missiles were heading to South Korea.

However, were China to have given the issue a second’s thought, it would have been advisable to have failed to acknowledge any familiarity with the issue whatsoever.

China walked into a trap, one that uncovered their espionage cooperation agreements that involved, not the receipt of advanced Patriot missile systems but the full plans for the F22 stealth fighter.

Initial stories from 2009 indicating China has received plans for the F35 though espionage with Israel were false.

The F22 is a far more advanced aircraft.

 

On April 21, 2009, the Department of Defense announced the theft of 1.5 terabytes of data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the platform meant give the United States and her allies air superiority for the next 40 years.

In a flash, all that was gone, $300 billion dollars of funding down the drain, every system, defense, offense, stealth, everything needed to build one or shoot it down, all gone. Day one, China was accused but it wasn’t China, it wasn’t Iran, it wasn’t Pakistan.

The theft left a clear signature, one identical to the data Wikileaks has been receiving, sources inside the Pentagon repeating the actions of Israeli-Soviet spy, Jonathan Pollard.  As vital as the F-35 is to America’s defense, Pollard’s triumph on behalf of Soviet Russia and Israel dwarfs the current espionage coup.

Since the 2009 announcement, there has been nothing but silence.

Now we learn the Pentagon story was “cover” and it was the F22 Raptor, not the F35, an “export plane,” that was compromised:

F-22A Raptors – America Top Fighter

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology.

It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.[6]

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22.

Program partnerBoeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A.

Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of US tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter.[7]

While Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today.[8]

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”[9]

Raptor Formation

The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air combat missions because of delays in the Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter programs, a US ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the planned cheaper and more versatile F-35 resulted in calls to end F-22 production.[N 1]

In April 2009 the US Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 Raptors.[11] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 lacked funding for further F-22 production.

The final F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolled off the assembly line on 13 December 2011 during a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin aircraft plant at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.[2]

China is testing a 5th generation fighter, 20 years earlier than estimated, the JA 20.  It is based on systems from the Raptor and is considered a far superior plane to the F 35.From a January, 2011 Guardianstory suppressed in the United States:

Chinese F22 Raptor Clone, 20 Years Early

 

A photograph of what is reported to be a new Chinese stealth fighter and “carrier-killer” missile has prompted concerns that a tilt in the balance of military power in the western Pacific towards China may come sooner than expected.

The emergence of the hi-tech weaponry – which would make it more difficult for the US navy and air force to project power close to Taiwan and elsewhere on China’s coastline – comes at a politically sensitive time.

Later this month, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, will hold a summit in Washington aimed at patching up their differences after a niggling year in bilateral relations.

he photograph, of what appears to be a prototype J-20 jet undergoing initial tests, has been circulating on the internet since last week, fueling speculation that China’s fifth-generation fighter may fly ahead of forecast.(Attempts have been made to alter photos of the plane and misrepresent its “lineage.” The only alterations from the F22 seem to be the rear control surfaces.  What has been most telling is the attempt to misconstrue the JA 20 as a “large bodied” interceptor with a weapons bay for anti-ship missiles instead of the air superiority fighter it actually is. )

The defence ministry has yet to comment on the image, which seems to have been shot from long-distance near the Chengdu aircraft design institute. The photographer is also unknown, which has added to the mystery about its origins and authenticity as well as the motive of the distributor.

But defence analysts believe this is the first glimpse of the twin-engined, chiseled-nosed plane that mixes Russian engine technology with a fuselage design similar to that of the US air force’s F-22 “stealth” fighter, which can avoid detection by radar.

If confirmed, it would be an impressive step forward for the Chinese air force, which until now has largely depended on foreign-made or designed planes. “I’d say these are, indeed, genuine photos of a prototype that will make its maiden flight very soon,” said Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The J20 is likely to be many years from deployment, but the US defence secretary, Robert Gates – who visits Beijing next week – may have to revise an earlier prediction that China will not have a fifth generation aircraft by 2020.

It is not the only challenge to US superiority in the region. China has refurbished a Ukrainian aircraft carrier and wants to build its own by 2020.

Photo corrected from “stretch” version issued to mislead public

The US and Israel had scheduled an air defense exercise this week but no Patriot missiles were to be shipped to Israel as part of their mission, DOD sources indicate.

This week’s exercise was to use Patriot missiles deployed from American ships in the eastern Mediterranean to test Israeli missile defenses.  Reports indicate that all missiles for this exercise have been accounted for.

” Patriots Away ”

These units, the most advanced Patriot system had only been supplied to one nation, Israel.

The 69 Patriot ICBM interceptors are believed to be a highly secret consignment demanded by Israel as protection from any retaliatory strike by Iran were war to break out in the region.

Instead of deploying them, the missiles were apparently  sold to China labeled as “fireworks” according to Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen.

Though the missiles themselves were worth only $4 billion, the technology transfer itself would be worth over $125 billion, and represent a significant loss of defense capability for the United States.

Sources termed it, “An absolute disaster, even if they only received the radar systems alone, much less the missiles.That this would go unreported though the story was broken in Europe 48 hours ago is astounding.

Nobody in Washington has this although even the BBC report contains more than enough information to bring Washington to a halt.

DOD sources indicate that it would be unusual for these missiles to be moved without radar and launch facilities to have been moved in advance.   It was also indicated that the Department of Defense denies shipping any such missiles to Germany or anywhere else in Europe, labeled as “fireworks” or anything else.

The owner of the ship of record is Thorco Shipping.  Their representative, Thomas Mikkelsen said he was unaware any such cargo was on board his vessel.

Patriot Command Control Center

Claims were made that the missiles were destined for South Korea but an examination of documentation indicated that there were no South Korean ports scheduled.

Additionally, the likelihood that the US government would ship its most valuable and secret missile technology through Germany mislabeled as “fireworks” rather than on a C 17 under military security supports the Finnish claim.

Finnish police say they opened all 69 units, are recording serial numbers and have been unable to find any documentation indicating the real ownership of the  seized cargo.

And they certainly have found nothing involving the any of the claimed “cover stories” involving Germany or Korea, otherwise, of course, the cargo would never have been seized nor would there have been arrests made.

Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the case.  He has stated:

 ”Actually, in our investigation at the moment, we have got the information that we found 69 Patriot missiles on the ship and around 160 tonnes of explosives.”

The explosives are identified as nitroguandine, a low sensitivity explosive with a very high detonation speed.   These explosives have several uses, among them launching shipboard or submarine launched missiles or in the development and testing of nuclear weapons design.

Finnish authorities indicate the explosives were packed in an “informal” and highly dangerous manner and that the Thor Liberty’s captain and chief officer are under arrest on suspicion of arms trafficking.  Both are citizens of the Ukraine.The government of China has denied all knowledge of the incident although the cargo was destined for their ports.

The head of Finnish Customs CID, Petri Louatmaa said this was not the first such incident but by far the most serious he has ever heard of.Finland has requested “information” from several countries.

The US Department of Defense has assured all involved that these missiles were not being sent to South Korea and that their presence on a civilian ship either being loaded in Germany or in port in Finland was in now way a part of any exercise nor any accepted methodology for the handling of this type of ultra-high technology weaponry.

American sources further indicated confusion at the odd number of missiles:

“There are two missiles per launch container.  The containers can’t be easily opened and the missiles can’t be removed for examination without damage to the launch mechanism.They are delivered for mounting to ships or land based mobile launchers.  Thus, the packaging indicated either demonstrates confusion or serious unprofessional tampering.”

Israeli officials have failed to respond to questions about the consignment.Air Force transport command personnel indicate that high tech transfers to Israel are routinely offloaded at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands where Israel maintains secure facilities.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Patriot PAC3s Are Shipped in Pairs – Ground to Air Patriots are Shipped With Lauchers

 

Related Posts:

Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=173458

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners. Legal Notice

Posted by on Dec 23 2011, With 40350 Reads, Filed under Editor, WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Apply for VA Loan Now

COMMENTS

To post, we ask that you login using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail in the box below.
Don’t have a social network account? Register and Login direct with VT and post.
Before you post, read our Comment PolicyFeedback

Comments Closed

43 Comments for “Breaking: Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by Israel (Updates)”

  1. The numbers don’t add up , I was thinking that ONE was missing . It is more than that , this launcher carries 16 missiles . To reload it 4 times requires 64 missiles , but we have 69 so it must have been at least enough to reload 5 times which takes 80 missiles . I think at least 11 are missing !

  2. The F22 was a dud and none of America’s allies wanted to buy it. The US military is the only military using the aircraft.

    The F35 is another over priced dud that is not competitive in the marketplace. Apparently the Japanese have brought about 40 of them so that the US has a good news story to put out in the worlds media – probably because all of America other allies have already said they do not want to buy them. Canada’s media has had an open discussion about the F35 saying how the Canadan Government should not have to buy a piece of rubbish that no other US allies want to buy. No doubt the Japanese were either given the F35 or somehow made to buy it.

    • Really? Britain is buying the F-35. The Netherlands are buying the F-35. Italy is buying the F-35, and will be the site of the major overhaul facility in Europe. Denmark is buying the F-35. Norway is buying the F-35. Israel is buying the F-35.

      Yes, the cost is higher than it should be, but a lot of that is because of the union that controls Lockheed. While the company is desperately trying to cut costs, the union is telling the workers that they have to strike this spring and they cannot accept any contract that doesn’t include a lot more benefits and more money. Another cost problem is that the Obama Administration and the Harry Reid Senate have cut back on the production schedule. That again causes the cost per aircraft to rise.

      It will be a fantastic aircraft once all of the early bugs get worked out, and there are ALWAYS bugs in early production models of military aircraft. Is it going to be perfect? No, but it is definitely needed to replace our aging Hornets, Harriers, and Falcons.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27qdB1D0s9M&feature=related

        This is a bit of a slanted video but calling the F 35 a useless flying garbage truck is generous.

        The Pakisistani J10 for 95% less performs slightly better in most roles.

        The Russian planes….ouch.

      • I have worked in the area of product development and yes you always launch a product when it gets close to 95% and iron the bugs out afterwards after freeback, but the Japanese are the only US ally currently buying the F35 – no one else wants to pay the $200 million US dollar a plane price tag. The F35 is no where near an acceptable standard.

  3. from a reader:

    In October 1992 I moved into the home of Raytheon employee Hank Turner and his art-historian wife Carolyn in Acton, MA. This was just prior to the 1992 Presidential election. Carolyn informed me that Hank was away, “teaching the Chinese how to build the Patriot Missile”. When Hank came home around the beginning of November 1992, he confirmed he’d been in China, “teaching the Chinese how to build the Patriot Missile”. Hank brought some gifts home from China to his family, and gave me one, too – one I still have.

    Some months later the news magazines screamed with hysteria, “President Clinton sold the Patriot Missile to China!”. It was clear what had really happened: Bush-Cheney had set that up to go off during Clinton’s term in office.

    The US powers-that-be have been selling, giving and throwing away state secrets to both China and Israel for decades.

  4. Every intelligence operation like this has to have a “cover and deception” plan. Putting these on the worse form of transportation possible and loading around them enough explosives to vaporize an entire harbour is a good way of CYA.

    The chance of patriot missiles being shipped outside their launching containers or off their mobile launchers is low. Each missile cost more than a mobile launcher itself.

    These things are designed to be loaded on and off c5 and c17 planes and i suspect may sit on a c 130 as well.

    g

  5. The other possibility is that Israel (with or without official U.S. complicity) simply ripped somebody (China?) off.

    They agree to sell the missiles, they accept payment (full or even partial), and then they make sure the missiles are poorly packaged (or whatever they have to do including an anonymous tipster making some phone calls) and have some third party make the discovery.

    Then the missiles get sent back to the U.S. (or wherever) the Jews already have their money, and the injured party that was supposed to receive the missiles is up a creek without a paddle, apparently all because of some fake “incompetence” somewhere in the process.

  6. I’d love to see this brought up in an upcoming candidate debate….

    Good job Gordon

  7. Merry Christmas Gordon & ALL Veterans Today staff. Thanks for all your wonderful work. All the best for the new year.

  8. I wonder where number 70 is and who is reverse engineering it ?

  9. The general strategic context, fueled by a systemic financial breakdown crisis, is that we are in the initial stages of WWIII with Israel and the US at the center of instigation. It makes perfect sense, given Israel’s documented penchant for stabbing its benefactor in the back, for Israel to have arranged this subrosa sale of Partiot missiles to China– perhaps as a hedge in case China emerges in better shape than the US in the aftermath of a conflict.

  10. As soon as I post this I will be preparing an email to President Obama,Senator patty Murray,Senator maria Cantwell and Congressman Norm Dicks.I might even throw one in to Joe Liberman as well.I suggest that every reader send this on to all of their contacts.I would say to their newspaper but we all know that such information is seldom published and if it is,a two inch column on page 13 is all it receives.But we all need to start making noise until we are heard.Maybe that will be never but let’s not go down without fighting to spread the message.

    • I’d skip Lieberman Lawrence….I’m pretty sure he’s partly responsible, directly or indirectly. He’s Sayanim, and I’m sure he wants you in a camp with me next door.

    • Larry

      This is one for u to spend some time on.

      Never has anything been so obvious and it to the Finnish government to show some backbone.

      g

  11. I have to admit that I lost those missiles. Please arm them and send (launch) them back to me. My address is `1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.

  12. Two things not cleared up in american history. The first is, McCarthy was right, there were thousands more soviet spies and conspirators in the US and Britain. And the situation was perhaps 100 times worse than he knew at the time. He was silenced. Second, Jews are the communists and Soviets. They just had to buy up all the media in the world to silence that, and they did.

    If there’s a buck to be made, Israel (Nazi’s, communists, Rockefeller, 8 families) control it.

    I have to hand it to them, how brilliant is communism? To convince 1.5 billion people it’s all about equality, when it was the greatest theft of property and wealth in the history of mankind, consolidated into the hands of maybe 100 people. Can’t do that without media. Of course, you have to kill off most of the whites first. When David Rockefeller said “Our experiment in China is working nicely” he was misunderestimating.

    Now they’ve convinced people that because the 8 families didn’t feel like lending to each other (which they were), they need to take our wealth to make sure loans between the 8 families continue. Magnificent, that’s almost beyond belief. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, and they bought it again. When your family prints money, you don’t need to lend it to your brother, he’s printing his own, trust me.

    Yeah, I’m having a hard time believing Gordon here. They would never do such a thing! Just like with the Manhattan Project, that was all the same spies working for the same people. Is it because bankers aren’t elected that people can’t see they control world policy? It’s not Israel stealing 5th generation aircraft, latest generation missiles, and everything else we make. It’s bankers hiring Israel to do this. It was bankers who payed people to kill off 75 million white Russians. It was bankers who were directly responsible for Napoleon. For Lenin, Stalin, Mao. Do we need to go all the back to Babylon?

    Here’s an article that will help some people see why the Murrah building was blown up, why 9-11 had to happen, and what it is that bankers really do in this world. I’ve been following this story for a long, long time. It’s the minions running around doing what they do, and in the end, a banker swoops in and finishes off the survivors. Just like Gordons story, except G’s story indirectly points out that they want the survivors to have this technology after the fires of WWIII are out. They don’t have sides you see, they created the whole production. Merry Christmas.

    http://theintelhub.com/2011/12/22/enron-taliban-warburg-the-untold-story/

  13. Where I was duped was by Bob Gates, back in 09, when he passed off the theft of data as being F35. This was a “press release” and I took it like everyone else.

    Will not make that mistake again…I hope.
    g

  14. It’s odd that 69 missiles were found. 69 is the well known sexual position, perhaps just a coincidence but the Mossad is infatuated with numbers. Perhaps the Mossad is showcasing it’s warped humor. They waited exactly 911 days from their 911 false flag to do the Madrid bombing.

    • Brian,

      What I was yelled at about was the number. “How the hell could there be 69 missiles. Taking one out would be a huge mess, nobody is that stupid.”

      To which I answered, the Finns are doing this, not me. This is their count.

      g

  15. It might be wise for any military guys involved in the care and feeding of these missile systems to consider any irregularities they may be privy to in the ensuing time since this Israeli deal was struck. The dual passport pirates in congress, the white house, the Pentagon and their minions will stop at nothing to make this one go away. This kinda reminds me of the missing nukes out of Minot AFB and the troopers that had fatal accidents during the investigative period following.
    Merry Christmas and remember the USS Liberty.

  16. STOP godvernment TREASONS

    to: Gordon Duff
    from: STOP godvernment Treasons

    Please excuse me, but I’m a new kid on the block. I want to be sure I clearly understand — with your help. Is it only my wild imagination, or does this whole chain of events seem set up with chance after chance to fumble? Stupid handoff after stupid handoff.

    C 17 to Schipol, to Germany, to Finland, to (maybe S Korea, then, to) China? Hopscotch??? And who knows where else between Finland and China. Murmansk? Northern Canada? With such a circuituous route, why not Africa or South America?

    Wouldn’t it be smarter to re-fuel and ship all the way to israhell via C 17?
    Why not go to, for example, Lajes, or to Rota, Spain and ship them across the Med?
    Why entrust the cargo to a ship captained by Ukrainians? I’ve lived there for years. They’re treacherous. Especially the higher you go up the chain-of-command. It’s genetic.

    Isn’t there a better sea route to China than via Finland? This doesn’t add up.

    What does add up is culpability by israhelli zion nazis and even some USSSSSA lapdog(s) in the DoD.

    —————————–
    USSSSSA = un-free soviet socialist satanic slave states of amerikka (overrun, ruined and run by demonic zion nazis that micro-manage power-crazed, megalomaniac neo-comms that are anti-US & traitors. neo-comms & zionists are Pure Evil and inhumans. Their actions have been and shall continue proving it.)
    —————————–
    But even this premise is flawed. Why wouldn’t USSSSSA neo-comms simply ship them across the Pacific?

    Daily they commit multiple TREASONS. They fear no Justice, reprisals or comeuppance meted out by mindless masses of severely dumbed-down, amerikkan idolators that are too busy worshipping “American Idol” and “Dancing with Joe Blow”. Any TRAITORS caught shipping directly would ignore facts and have mainstream propaganda networks remain silent or -what the talking heads are experts at- be LIARS. And the TRAITORS would continue doing business-as-usual TREASONS. That’s their job. It’s what they do best. It’s why zion nazis installed them.

    Gordon, I’m surely not alone here trying to make sense of this. There’s something you know in this report that at least some of the rest of us didn’t quite catch. Help us out. Thanks. And, Merry Christmas.

    • The Israeli arms depot at Schipol is there because Israel is the 4th largest arms trader in the world and it is impossible to move certain items in and out of Israel. Ask them, not me.

      • Glad you mention that. If you account for the international and U.N. loopholes, Israel is actually #1 in the world. Because they change m-16′s, and hundreds of other weapons from the US into another designation, they are by proxy USA, the largest dealer in the world. Wayne Madsen, and Philip Dick proved it back in 05′-06′ ‘ish.

  17. Gee, kids, isn’t this going to be the BEST Christmas EVER?

    • With the non-stop and ever increasing open absurdity of the “traitors in our midst”, I’m thinking out loud that “the LAST Christmas EVER” has a growing base of supporting evidence. Enjoy this one, and hope-like-hell I am “way out in left field” on this “observation/interpretation.

      • My sarcasm aside, I think you may be right. Enjoy this Christmas and every minute of every day. But remember, too, our obligation to fight the traitors in our midst, as you put it.

        Just like Christ did.

  18. Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

  19. Seems pretty clear to me why the title is such . Israel is the only nation to have been supplied with these 69 missiles . Israel demanded them to use against Iran’s missiles , but here they are on a ship heading to China . They were supposed to be deployed but weren’t , either they were stolen or Israel SOLD them !

  20. “or is this speculation?” Trudy I don’t think Gordon deals in speculation.

  21. Like the missing trillions they refuse to investigate or 911 because they know all roads would lead to Zionistan. Sort yourselves out America. Have you not been played enough by this criminal terrorist entity that squats on stolen land?

  22. So, if Israel is the only country that can get these “Latest Versions” of the Patriots, and they are made in the US for the military in the US, how do they wind up in a non-official shipping configuration, being shipped on an unprotected ship, with the next stop the Far East?

    Either some “Traitors” here or Israel, or something more we don’t know. They couldn’t have a valid export license from the country of origin, because we would NOT give one, and there is no docs.

  23. I will be the first one to believe that Israel sold these missiles to China, knowing their history. However, in the interest of journalism, is there some evidence of this that you have not revealed or is this speculation?

    • Did you read that the ship was impounded and the captain and first officer under arrest?

      You read the statements, DOD and Finland.

      The “connected dots” are quite minimal.

      As for shipment and storage, that source is credited to the US Air Force transport command in Charleston, South Carolina.

      thanks guys!!

      g

  24. Dear Gordon,

    At the end of 2011, the headline “69 Newest Patriot Missiles Bound For Reds”
    .
    I would have thought that “Reds” was a bit passe these days. Based on the current bill restricting, YET AGAIN, the freedoms and rights of the people of the US, one could almost call such a move as one that was standard practice in the days of the Nazis, but we don’t call the government of the US, Nazis.

    So Reds? Your comment really surprises me.

  25. given the facts put forth in this article.. Where exactly does the articles author come to the conclusion that “israel Sold the weapons to China”? as the article States ” Finnish police say they opened all 69 units, are recording serial numbers and have been unable to find any documentation indicating the real ownership of the seized cargo. ” so that Begs the question.. if they ahve NO Documentation to show who Owns them, or Where they came from.. then on What basis does the articles author Claim to be able to Deduce that “israel sold China the missles”? sorry, but that’s a Valid Key point. This is an example of Very Shoddy reporting, and maybe even Wishfull Grasping at straws to make a “Big Splash” with the articles headline. Such a Shame.

    • You have point there.

      Just because the U.S. sold/gifted these missiles only to the state of Israel, and the same number of missiles were found, earmarked as “fireworks,” on a ship destined for China, does not mean Israel re-sold the missiles or they were sold to China for a quick profit.

      It’s like paying your taxes. Just because you send your taxes to the Treasury, the checks actually go to the privately owned The Federal Reserve.

      The moral integrity of Israel is without question. All one has to do is look at the Treaty of Alliance America has with Israel to know what I am talking about.

  26. Well the last time Israel sold secrets to China, it was the nukes. So I think the patriot missile, qualifies as fireworks. Talk about playing both sides of the fence. But do not worry, if you need a heart, they will kill someone, if you have the money. I would not doubt it if they sold the codes to Iran on the drones. Gordon, I have a prediction for 2012. Ron Paul is winning the Rep. primary, one or two false flags happen, and Obama calls for marshal law. After that, anyone on the list (which they compiled by spying), will be taken away. Obama will suspend the election (claiming executive powers), and will declare, turn in your guns, or you are on the terror list. I know you have a better grip, then I do. Gordon, I know you do not have a crystal ball. But what do think will happen in 2012?

Comments are closed

Twenty Lies About The Iraq War

1aa

(BlackListedNews) -Falsehoods ranging from exaggeration to plain untruth were used to make the case for war. More lies are being used in the aftermath.

1 Iraq was responsible for the 11 September attacks

A supposed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, and an Iraqi intelligence official was the main basis for this claim, but Czech intelligence later conceded that the Iraqi’s contact could not have been Atta. This did not stop the constant stream of assertions that Iraq was involved in 9/11, which was so successful that at one stage opinion polls showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the hand of Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks. Almost as many believed Iraqi hijackers were aboard the crashed airliners; in fact there were none.

2 Iraq and al-Qa’ida were working together

Persistent claims by US and British leaders that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in league with each other were contradicted by a leaked British Defence Intelligence Staff report, which said there were no current links between them. Mr Bin Laden’s “aims are in ideological conflict with present-day Iraq”, it added.

Another strand to the claims was that al-Qa’ida members were being sheltered in Iraq, and had set up a poisons training camp. When US troops reached the camp, they found no chemical or biological traces.

3 Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa for a “reconstituted” nuclear weapons programme

The head of the CIA has now admitted that documents purporting to show that Iraq tried to import uranium from Niger in west Africa were forged, and that the claim should never have been in President Bush’s State of the Union address. Britain sticks by the claim, insisting it has “separate intelligence”. The Foreign Office conceded last week that this information is now “under review”.

4 Iraq was trying to import aluminium tubes to develop nuclear weapons

The US persistently alleged that Baghdad tried to buy high-strength aluminum tubes whose only use could be in gas centrifuges, needed to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Equally persistently, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the tubes were being used for artillery rockets. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, told the UN Security Council in January that the tubes were not even suitable for centrifuges.

5 Iraq still had vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons from the first Gulf War

Iraq possessed enough dangerous substances to kill the whole world, it was alleged more than once. It had pilotless aircraft which could be smuggled into the US and used to spray chemical and biological toxins. Experts pointed out that apart from mustard gas, Iraq never had the technology to produce materials with a shelf-life of 12 years, the time between the two wars. All such agents would have deteriorated to the point of uselessness years ago.

6 Iraq retained up to 20 missiles which could carry chemical or biological warheads, with a range which would threaten British forces in Cyprus

Apart from the fact that there has been no sign of these missiles since the invasion, Britain downplayed the risk of there being any such weapons in Iraq once the fighting began. It was also revealed that chemical protection equipment was removed from British bases in Cyprus last year, indicating that the Government did not take its own claims seriously.

7 Saddam Hussein had the wherewithal to develop smallpox

This allegation was made by the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his address to the UN Security Council in February. The following month the UN said there was nothing to support it.

8 US and British claims were supported by the inspectors

According to Jack Straw, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix “pointed out” that Iraq had 10,000 litres of anthrax. Tony Blair said Iraq’s chemical, biological and “indeed the nuclear weapons programme” had been well documented by the UN. Mr Blix’s reply? “This is not the same as saying there are weapons of mass destruction,” he said last September. “If I had solid evidence that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction or were constructing such weapons, I would take it to the Security Council.” In May this year he added: “I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were not.”

9 Previous weapons inspections had failed

Tony Blair told this newspaper in March that the UN had “tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get Saddam to disarm peacefully”. But in 1999 a Security Council panel concluded: “Although important elements still have to be resolved, the bulk of Iraq’s proscribed weapons programmes has been eliminated.” Mr Blair also claimed UN inspectors “found no trace at all of Saddam’s offensive biological weapons programme” until his son-in-law defected. In fact the UN got the regime to admit to its biological weapons programme more than a month before the defection.

10 Iraq was obstructing the inspectors

Britain’s February “dodgy dossier” claimed inspectors’ escorts were “trained to start long arguments” with other Iraqi officials while evidence was being hidden, and inspectors’ journeys were monitored and notified ahead to remove surprise. Dr Blix said in February that the UN had conducted more than 400 inspections, all without notice, covering more than 300 sites. “We note that access to sites has so far been without problems,” he said. : “In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew that the inspectors were coming.”

11 Iraq could deploy its weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes

This now-notorious claim was based on a single source, said to be a serving Iraqi military officer. This individual has not been produced since the war, but in any case Tony Blair contradicted the claim in April. He said Iraq had begun to conceal its weapons in May 2002, which meant that they could not have been used within 45 minutes.

12 The “dodgy dossier”

Mr Blair told the Commons in February, when the dossier was issued: “We issued further intelligence over the weekend about the infrastructure of concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish intelligence reports.” It soon emerged that most of it was cribbed without attribution from three articles on the internet. Last month Alastair Campbell took responsibility for the plagiarism committed by his staff, but stood by the dossier’s accuracy, even though it confused two Iraqi intelligence organisations, and said one moved to new headquarters in 1990, two years before it was created.

13 War would be easy

Public fears of war in the US and Britain were assuaged by assurances that oppressed Iraqis would welcome the invading forces; that “demolishing Saddam Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk”, in the words of Kenneth Adelman, a senior Pentagon official in two previous Republican administrations. Resistance was patchy, but stiffer than expected, mainly from irregular forces fighting in civilian clothes. “This wasn’t the enemy we war-gamed against,” one general complained.

14 Umm Qasr

The fall of Iraq’s southernmost city and only port was announced several times before Anglo-American forces gained full control – by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others, and by Admiral Michael Boyce, chief of Britain’s defence staff. “Umm Qasr has been overwhelmed by the US Marines and is now in coalition hands,” the Admiral announced, somewhat prematurely.

15 Basra rebellion

Claims that the Shia Muslim population of Basra, Iraq’s second city, had risen against their oppressors were repeated for days, long after it became clear to those there that this was little more than wishful thinking. The defeat of a supposed breakout by Iraqi armour was also announced by military spokesman in no position to know the truth.

16 The “rescue” of Private Jessica Lynch

Private Jessica Lynch’s “rescue” from a hospital in Nasiriya by American special forces was presented as the major “feel-good” story of the war. She was said to have fired back at Iraqi troops until her ammunition ran out, and was taken to hospital suffering bullet and stab wounds. It has since emerged that all her injuries were sustained in a vehicle crash, which left her incapable of firing any shot. Local medical staff had tried to return her to the Americans after Iraqi forces pulled out of the hospital, but the doctors had to turn back when US troops opened fire on them. The special forces encountered no resistance, but made sure the whole episode was filmed.

17 Troops would face chemical and biological weapons

As US forces approached Baghdad, there was a rash of reports that they would cross a “red line”, within which Republican Guard units were authorised to use chemical weapons. But Lieutenant General James Conway, the leading US marine general in Iraq, conceded afterwards that intelligence reports that chemical weapons had been deployed around Baghdad before the war were wrong.

“It was a surprise to me … that we have not uncovered weapons … in some of the forward dispersal sites,” he said. “We’ve been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they’re simply not there. We were simply wrong. Whether or not we’re wrong at the national level, I think still very much remains to be seen.”

18 Interrogation of scientists would yield the location of WMD

“I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are there … once we have the co-operation of the scientists and the experts, I have got no doubt that we will find them,” Tony Blair said in April. Numerous similar assurances were issued by other leading figures, who said interrogations would provide the WMD discoveries that searches had failed to supply. But almost all Iraq’s leading scientists are in custody, and claims that lingering fears of Saddam Hussein are stilling their tongues are beginning to wear thin.

19 Iraq’s oil money would go to Iraqis

Tony Blair complained in Parliament that “people falsely claim that we want to seize” Iraq’s oil revenues, adding that they should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN. Britain should seek a Security Council resolution that would affirm “the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people”.

Instead Britain co-sponsored a Security Council resolution that gave the US and UK control over Iraq’s oil revenues. There is no UN-administered trust fund.

Far from “all oil revenues” being used for the Iraqi people, the resolution continues to make deductions from Iraq’s oil earnings to pay in compensation for the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

20 WMD were found

After repeated false sightings, both Tony Blair and George Bush proclaimed on 30 May that two trailers found in Iraq were mobile biological laboratories. “We have already found two trailers, both of which we believe were used for the production of biological weapons,” said Mr Blair. Mr Bush went further: “Those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons – they’re wrong. We found them.” It is now almost certain that the vehicles were for the production of hydrogen for weather balloons, just as the Iraqis claimed – and that they were exported by Britain.

Cheney Admits that He Lied about 9/11

 

1aabbc

(Washington’s Blog) -What Else Did He Lie About?

The New York Times’ Maureen Daud writes today:

In a documentary soon to appear on Showtime, “The World According to Dick Cheney,” [Cheney said]  “I got on the telephone with the president, who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both be taken out.” Mr. Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.

“I gave the instructions that we’d authorize our pilots to take it out,” he says, referring to the jet headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: “After I’d given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a significant moment.”

***

When they testified together before the 9/11 Commission, W. and Mr. Cheney kept up a pretense that in a previous call, the president had authorized the vice president to give a shoot-down order if needed. But the commission found “no documentary evidence for this call.”

In other words, Cheney pretended that Bush had authorized a shoot-down order, but Cheney now admits that he never did.  In fact, Cheney acted as if he was the president on 9/11.

Cheney lied about numerous other facts related to 9/11 as well.  For example, Cheney:

Argo wins Oscar in Hollywood’s dirty anti-Iran game: Analysts

1aa
(Press TV) -The granting of the Best Picture Oscar to the Iranophobic movie Argo has long been foreseeable as the Machiavellian maneuvering of Hollywood propaganda harbors a much more elaborate imperialistic scheme, political analysts say.

“I put my money on this film to win the Best Picture Oscar (even though there is nothing remotely “best” about it) especially if Obama can pull off winning the Presidential election,” wrote cultural critic Kim Nicolini in an article published in October 2012.

“Argo, above all else, is a piece of conservative liberal propaganda created by Hollywood to support the Obama administration’s conservative liberal politics as we move toward the Presidential election,” she said before Obama was re-elected for the second term.

“It also primes the war wheels for an American-supported Israeli attack on Iran, so that Leftists can feel okay about the war when they cast their vote for Obama in November (2012),” the critic pointed out.

At the 85th edition of Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on Sunday, Michelle Obama, the US First Lady, announced Argo as winner of the Best Picture Oscar, live from the White House.

The thriller directed by US filmmaker Ben Affleck is loosely based on the allegedly historical account by former CIA agent Tony Mendez about the rescue of six American diplomats during the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The revolutionary Iranian university students who took over the US Embassy believed that the embassy had turned into a den of espionage which aimed to overthrow the nascent Islamic Republic establishment.

Argo only tells the rescue operation of the six Americans from the Canadian Embassy in Iran, with no mentioning of the 53 Americans who spent 444 days in the US Embassy.

Nicolini lashed out at Argo for completely neglecting to provide the Iranian’s side of the story, noting, “The film is a sanitized version of the events.”

She argued that “there is nothing authentic about the film’s manipulation of historical events,” and described the movie as “pure political propaganda.”

“Given the vast number of people who have died in the Middle East (Americans, Iranians, Iraqis, Afghanis, etc.), why should we give so much attention to 6 white American diplomats who were saved by Hollywood and the CIA? What about all the other people from so many cultural demographics who have and are continuing to be massacred, murdered and tortured daily?” the critic questioned.

One of the most disputed aspect of Argo’s version of events has to do with Canada’s role in the escape, as the film is considered to be a very inaccurate dramatization of a purported joint CIA-Canadian secret operation.

Former Canadian Ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor has heavily criticized the movie, saying, “The amusing side is the script writer (Chris Terrio) in Hollywood had no idea what he’s talking about.”

He said Argo downplays the actual extent of the Canadian involvement which was considerable.

Taylor criticized Argo for incorporating a myriad of creative liberties that included the “black and white” portrayal of Iranian people and fabricated scenes, adding that Argo “characterizes people in a way that isn’t quite right.”

The former Canadian envoy argued that Argo didn’t portray “a more conventional side,” and “a more hospitable side” of the Iranian society as well, an “intent that they were looking for some degree of justice.”

Political analysts say Argo unmasks the elaborate US scheme to employ every medium in its propaganda apparatus to incite Iranophobia across the globe.

“Argo is an arrant instance of Hollywoodism. In point of fact, it is yet another attempt to foment Iranophobia not only in the USA but across the world as well,” Iranian academic Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on Press TV website in November 2012.

“In recent years, Iranophobia has come to encompass a wider scope of media including cinema which is incontestably capable of exercising a more powerful effect on manipulating the audience,” he said.

The analyst also lashed out at Argo’s director for portraying a “stereotyped and caricatured view” of the Iranian society and noted that Affleck has consciously sought to ridicule “the very customs and traditions” of Iran.

In an interview with Press TV, top Iranian official Masoumeh Ebtekar who was a spokeswoman of the students who took over the US Embassy in 1979, says she initially thought that the film would be a balanced representation of events, but after seeing the film, she says it does not tell the story of the takeover as it actually happened.

“The group who took over the American Embassy were a group of young, very orderly and quite calm men and women … The scenes that you see in Argo are totally incorrect,” Ebtekar said.

Iranian film critic Masoud Foroutan told Press TV that Argo was “politically-motivated,” noting, “The making of the film from the technical aspect is ok but the story is not authentic. The story is custom-made and you could see where it would end up. The film was a politically-motivated one.”

On the 19th of January 1981, the Algiers Accords was signed by the United States and Iran which secured the release of the American diplomats. A day later, the 53 Americans were released in Tehran and minutes later former US President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

Meanwhile, political observers contend that the US has always sought to keep the Algiers Accords hidden from the general public and it comes as no surprise as Argo makes no mention of the accords either.

Reinstate Military Draft Bill Introduced to Include All Women

 

military draft

(Activist Post) -Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) wants all Americans to serve their government, including women. On Friday he introduced one bill that would reinstate the draft and another that would require all women to register for Selective Service as well.

Rangel introduced  The National Universal Service Act(H.R. 747) for the sixth time since first being proposed in 2003 during the Iraq war.  H.R 747 “would require 30 million people in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform two years of national service in either the armed services or in civilian life.”

Rangel also introduced the All American Selective Service Act (H.R. 748) which requires all women to enroll in the Selective Service System.  This would essentially double the number of registrants. The current law requires only men ages 18 to 25 to register, leaving approximately only 13.5 million in the registry.

“Now that women can serve in combat they should register for the Selective Service alongside their male counterparts,” said Rangel in a statement. “Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. We must question why and how we go to war, and who decides to send our men and women into harm’s way.”

The last time Rangel introduced the “draft” bill was in 2011 on the very same day the Obama Administration launched a preemptive war in Libya on no-fly zone orders from the U.N., without Congressional approval, and despite never having been attacked or threatened by Libya.

He admitted at the time that the Iraq war was based on lies, “on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction and involvement in the 9/11.” Yet he still insisted more Americans should be ”sharing in duty and service.”

In one sense Rangel truly believes all Americans should serve their country in some capacity, especially because the military is stretched so thin where multiple tours of duty are resulting in increased PTSD and record suicide rates.

On the other hand, he also believes a draft would force more young Americans to question the necessity of current wars.

“I served in Korea, and understand that sometimes war is inevitable,” Rangel continued. “However military engagement should be our last resort. If we must go to war, every American should be compelled to stop and think twice about whether it is worth sending our brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters to fight. Currently less than one percent of America’s population is unfairly shouldering the burden of war.”

Anti-War Protester Interrupts Hearing, Kerry Says Outburst ‘Good Exclamation Point for My Testimony’

 

Obama-KerryPresident Obama announces his nomination of Sen. John Kerry as the next secretary of state, at the White House on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 

(CNSNews.com) – A heckler interrupted Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) opening remarks at his confirmation hearing on Thursday to become the next Secretary of State, an outburst that Kerry defended as indicative of American democracy and which reminded him of his own political action against the Vietnam war some 42 years ago.

The young woman, dressed in a pink hat, called for an end to U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After the heckler was removed from the room by Capitol Police, Kerry said the woman reminded him of his time as an anti-Vietnam war activist who, along with other protestors, “wanted to have our voices heard.”

 

During his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kerry implied that freedom of speech is part of American democracy and said the protestor’s shouts were “a good explanation point to my testimony.”

In his opening prepared statement, Kerry referred to his military service during the Vietnam War but did not mention his testimony in 1971 before the same committee about some U.S. troops committing atrocities, such as raping civilians and beheading victims.

“And as we talk about war and peace and foreign policy, I want us all to keep in our minds the extraordinary men and women in uniform who are on the front lines, the troops at war who help protect America,” Kerry said. “As a veteran, I will always carry the consequences of our decisions in my mind and be grateful that we have such extraordinary people to back us up.”

Kerry is expected to be easily confirmed and will replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down in March.

The Drone Commander:20,000 Airstrikes in the President’s First Term Cause Death and Destruction From Iraq to Somalia

 of 9/11: “Why do they hate us?”

(AlterNet) -Many people around the world are disturbed by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The illusion that American drones can strike without warning anywhere in the world without placing Americans in harm’s way makes drones dangerously attractive to U.S. officials, even as they fuel the cycle of violence that the “war on terror” falsely promised to end but has instead escalated and sought to normalize. But drone strikes are only the tip of an iceberg, making up less than 10 percent of at least 20,130 air strikes the U.S. has conducted in other countries since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

The U.S. dropped 17,500 bombs during its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It conducted 29,200 air strikes during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. U.S. air forces conducted at least another 3,900 air strikes in Iraq over the next eight years, before the Iraqi government finally negotiated the withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces. But that pales next to at least 38,100 U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan since 2002, a country already occupied by U.S. and NATO forces, with a government pledged by its U.S. overlords to bring peace and justice to its people.
 
The Obama administration is responsible for at least 18,274 air strikes in Afghanistan since 2009, including at least 1,160 by pilotless drones. The U.S. conducted at least 116 air strikes in Iraq in 2009 and about 1,460 of NATO’s 7,700 strikes in Libya in 2011. While the U.S. military does not publish figures on “secret” air and drone strikes in other countries, press reports detail a five-fold increase over Bush’s second term, with at least 303 strikes in Pakistan, 125 in Yemen and 16 in Somalia.
 
Aside from the initial bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and the “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq in March and April 2003, the Obama administration has conducted more air strikes day-in day-out than the Bush administration. Bush’s roughly 24,000 air strikes in seven years from 2002 to 2008 amounted to an air strike about every 3 hours, while Obama’s 20,130 in four years add up to one every 1-3/4 hours.
 
The U.S. government does not advertise these figures, and journalists have largely ignored them. But the bombs and missiles used in these air strikes are powerful weapons designed to inflict damage, death and injury over a wide radius, up to hundreds of feet from their points of impact. The effect of such bombs and shells on actual battlefields, where the victims are military personnel, has always been deadly and gruesome. Many soldiers who lived through shelling and bombing in the First and Second World Wars never recovered from “shell-shock” or what we now call PTSD.
 
The use of such weapons in America’s current wars, where “the battlefield” is often a euphemism for houses, villages or even urban areas densely populated by civilians, frequently violates otherwise binding rules of international humanitarian law. These include the Fourth Geneva Convention, signed in 1949 to protect civilians from the worst effects of war and military occupation.
 
Beginning in 2005, the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued quarterly reports on human rights in Iraq. They included details of U.S. air strikes that killed civilians, and UNAMI called on U.S. authorities to fully investigate these incidents. A UNAMI human rights report published in October 2007 demanded, “that all credible allegations of unlawful killings by MNF (multi-national force) forces be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated, and appropriate action taken against military personnel found to have used excessive or indiscriminate force.”
 
The UN human rights report included a reminder to U.S. military commanders that, “Customary international humanitarian law demands that, as much as possible, military objectives must not be located within areas densely populated by civilians. The presence of individual combatants among a great number of civilians does not alter the civilian nature of an area.”
 
But no Americans have been held criminally accountable for civilian casualties in air strikes, either in Iraq or in the more widespread bombing of occupied Afghanistan. U.S. officials dispute findings of fact and law in investigations by the UN and the Afghan government, but they accept no independent mechanism for resolving these disputes, effectively shielding themselves from accountability.
 
Besides simply not being informed of the extent of the U.S. bombing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. public has been subject to military propaganda about the accuracy and effectiveness of “precision” weapons. When military forces detonate tens of thousands of powerful bombs and missiles in a country, even highly accurate weapons are bound to kill many innocent people. When we are talking about 33,000 bombs and missiles exploding in Iraq, 55,000 in Afghanistan and 7,700 in Libya, it is critical to understand just how accurate or inaccurate these weapons really are. If only 10 percent missed their targets, that would mean nearly 10,000 bombs and missiles blowing up something or somewhere else, killing and maiming thousands of unintended victims.
 
But even the latest generation of “precision” weapons is not 90 percent accurate. One of the world’s leading experts on this subject, Rob Hewson, the editor of the military journal Jane’s Air Launched Weapons, estimated that 20 to 25 percent of the 19,948 precision weapons used in the “shock and awe” attack on Iraq in 2003 completely missed their targets. The other 9,251 bombs and missiles were not classified as “precision” weapons in the first place, so that only about 56 percent of the total 29,199 “shock and awe” weapons actually performed with “precision” by the military’s own standards. And those standards define precision for most of these weapons only as striking within a 29 foot radius of the target.
 
To an expert like Rob Hewson who understood the real-world effects of these weapons, “shock and awe” presented an ethical and legal problem to which American military spokespeople and journalists seemed oblivious. As he told the Associated Press, “In a war that’s being fought for the benefit of the Iraqi people, you can’t afford to kill any of them. But you can’t drop bombs and not kill people. There’s a real dichotomy in all of this.” 

The actual results of U.S. air strikes were better documented in Iraq than in Afghanistan. Epidemiological studies in Iraq bore out Hewson’s assessment, finding that tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. air strikes. The first major epidemiological study conducted in Iraq after 18 months of war and occupation concluded:

Violent deaths were widespread … and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children … Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths.

When the same team from Johns Hopkins and Baghdad’s Al Mustansariya University did a more extensive study in Iraq in 2006 after three years of war and occupation, it found that, amidst the proliferation of all kinds of violence, U.S. air strikes by then accounted for a smaller share of total deaths, except in one crucial respect: they still accounted for half of all violent deaths of children in Iraq.
 
No such studies have been conducted in Afghanistan, but hundreds of thousands of Afghans now living in refugee camps tell of homes and villages destroyed by U.S. air strikes and of family members killed in the bombing. There is no evidence that the pattern of bombing casualties in Afghanistan has been any kinder to children and other innocents than in Iraq. Impossibly low figures on civilian casualties published by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan are the result of small numbers of completed investigations, not comprehensive surveys. They therefore give a misleading impression, which is then amplified by wishful and uncritical Western news reports.
 
When the UN identified only 80 civilians killed in U.S. Special Forces night raids in 2010, Nader Nadery of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, who worked on the UN report, explained that this was based on completed investigations of only 13 of the 73 incidents reported to the UN for the year. He estimated the number of civilians killed in all 73 incidents at 420. But most U.S. air strikes and special forces raids occur in resistance-held areas where people have no contact with the UN or the Human Rights Commission. So even thorough and complete UN investigations in the areas it has access to would only document a fraction of total Afghan civilian casualties. Western journalists who report UN civilian casualty figures from Afghanistan as if they were estimates of total casualties unwittingly contribute to a propaganda narrative that dramatically understates the scale of violence raining down from the skies on the people of Afghanistan.
 
President Obama and the politicians and media who keep the scale, destructiveness and indiscriminate nature of U.S. air strikes shrouded in silence understand only too well that the American public has in no way approved this shameful and endless tsunami of violence against people in other countries. Day after day for 11 years, U.S. air strikes have conclusively answered the familiar question of 9/11: “Why do they hate us?” As Congressmember Barbara Lee warned in 2001, we have “become the evil we deplore.” It is time to change course. Ending the daily routine of deadly U.S. air strikes, including but by no means limited to drone strikes, should be President Obama’s most urgent national security priority as he begins his second term in office.

US supports governments in 4 of 7 least free nations

1a
(Digital Journal)  –  The United States provides economic, military  and diplomatic support to four of the seven least free nations on earth,  according to a Digital Journal analysis of this year’s Freedom House freedom  rankings.

Freedom House, a Washington, DC-based think tank that conducts  research on democracy, freedom and human rights, has released its annual report  on the state of freedom around the world. The report, “Freedom  in the World 2013,” gave seven nations the lowest possible rankings for both  political rights and civil liberties. Of these seven– North Korea,  Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia,  the United States provides significant economic, military and/or diplomatic  support to the governments of four of them. Here’s a breakdown of how the Obama  administration aids and enables brutal repression in each country:

Saudi Arabia:  Arbitrary arrest and torture  of reform advocates, religious minorities and totally innocent people are  commonplace. The Saudi legal system is a cruel farce, with defendants often denied  legal counsel and tortured into making false confessions. This has led to  wrongful executions, usually by public  beheading. Among the crimes for which one can be beheaded in Saudi Arabia:  apostasy (renouncing Islam), blasphemy, prostitution, witchcraft,  sorcery, adultery and homosexuality. Lesser criminals often have their hands and  legs amputated without anesthesia.

Being born female in Saudi Arabia is to  be condemned to a hellish life of virtual slavery. Not only are women not  allowed to vote, they cannot drive cars. They cannot be treated in a hospital or  travel without written permission from their husbands or male relatives. One  woman who was kidnapped and gang-raped was sentenced  to 90 whip lashes for being with unrelated males. When she went to the media to  complain, her sentence was increased to 200 lashes. In 2002, 15 schoolgirls  needlessly died when  members of the dreaded morality police locked them inside their burning school  and stopped firefighters from saving them simply because the girls were not  properly dressed in robes and headscarves.

The Saudi education system reinforces  this medieval barbarism. School textbooks disparage women, call for gays to be  put to death, teach how to cut off thieves’ hands and stress the importance of  the destruction of the Jewish people. “The hour of God’s judgment will not come  until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them,” reads  one textbook.

Such is life in the absolute monarchy  of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom without an elected parliament where the courts are  run by religious extremists, adherents of a super-strict brand of Islamic  fundamentalism called Wahhabism.  It was Wahhabism that spawned al-Qaeda; Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 9/11  hijackers were Saudis. In a bid to consolidate and protect its power and curry  favor with powerful extremist clerics, members of the Saudi royal family  routinely make large donations  to Islamic ‘charities’ that in turn fund terrorist groups. The Saudi government  also supported the Taliban right up until 9/11 and then refused to help US  intelligence officials with background checks on the Saudi hijackers.

These truths have been ignored by  successive US administrations, including Barack Obama’s. Rather than rebuke  Saudi repression, Obama rewarded it by allowing the sale of $60  billion worth of advanced military aircraft to the kingdom and by warmly  welcoming Saudi King Abdullah to the White House.

Equatorial Guinea:  This tiny but oil-rich West African nation is ruled by the fantastically corrupt Teodoro  Obiang, Africa’s longest ruling leader and a close US ally. Obiang, who was  trained in Franco’s Spain, rose to power in 1979 after executing his even more  brutal uncle. The US State Department report on Equatorial Guinea cites “torture  of detainees by security forces, life-threatening conditions in prisons, and  arbitrary arrests.” Locals joke– behind closed doors, of course– about North  Korea’s Kim Jong-un being Obiang’s role model.

Oil exports and corruption have made  the Obiang family among the richest in Africa, with the dictator’s personal  fortune worth an estimated $600 million. His family lives in ostentatious  opulence while one out of every three Equatorial Guineans dies before the  age of 40.

Somehow, despite the misery of most of  his people, Obiang still managed to “win”  reelection with 95 percent of the vote in 2009.

Obiang has endeared himself to the Bush  and Obama administrations (Condoleezza Rice called him a “good  friend”) by opening his country’s oil wealth up for exploitation by US  corporations, which have invested billions of dollars there. Secret diplomatic  cables published by Wikileaks in 2009 reveal that Washington advised  “abandoning a moral narrative” regarding the brutal Obiang regime and the Obama  administration was more than happy to oblige. Just two months before he “won”  his impossible landslide reelection victory, Barack and Michelle Obama met the  friendly dictator and posed for photos with him and his wife at a lavish  Manhattan reception.

Uzbekistan: This  Central Asian country is a police state that has been ruled continuously by the  wicked Islam  Karimov since it was part of the Soviet Union. There is zero freedom of  expression or of the press in Uzbekistan, and although Karimov holds periodic  elections, they are farcical affairs in which he always receives around 90  percent of the vote.

But Uzbekistan sits smack in the middle  of the region’s massive oil and natural gas resources and is also a valuable  ally in the War on Terror. The Northern Distribution Network, a supply line to  Afghanistan, passes right through it.

Unfortunately, tens of thousands of  Uzbek political prisoners are locked up in horrific conditions and subjected to  medieval tortures. Prisoners are forced to stand in freezing water for hours,  have their skin torn off with pliers or are occasionally boiled  to death. Uzbek authorities have also imprisoned, tortured or killed  thousands of Muslims just for practicing their faith.

The Bush administration cozied up to  the vile Karimov regime, inviting the dictator to the White House and lavishing  him with half a billion dollars in aid, much of it directly funding the police  and intelligence services that torture and murder. When Uzbek forces committed a  vodka-fueled massacre of  hundreds of peaceful protesters in Andijan in 2005, Pentagon officials helped block  an international investigation of the incident.

President Obama has continued to extend  the hand of friendship to Karimov, sending Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus  and the late Richard Holbrooke to Tashkent to shore up relations. Last February,  Obama announced that the US would resume  military aid to the despotic regime despite its continued grave human rights  abuses.

Turkmenistan: Home to  the world’s fifth-largest natural gas reserves, Uzbekistan’s southern neighbor  was for decades run by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov, whose bizarre  cult of personality knew no limits. Niyazov renamed a town, a meteor and the  month of January  after himself. He also scrapped the Hippocratic Oath for  doctors and replaced it with an oath to– guess who– Niyazov. The eccentric  dictator outlawed gold teeth, opera, ballet and lip-syncing. He even published a  ‘Book of the Soul’ that was elevated to the level of the Bible and Koran. When  one Islamic cleric objected, he was sentenced to 23 years behind bars.  Stalinesque show trials, torture and murder were everyday facts of life.

Niyazov died  in 2006. But the nation remains one of the most repressive and corrupt  in the world. Successive US administrations, however, have  ignored the brutality as they pursue lucrative pipeline deals and access to  routes to supply the war in Afghanistan. The dictator Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow  “won” reelection last year with 97 percent of the vote, a troubling development  that was met with silence and continued friendship from the Obama  administration. The US has also provided millions of dollars in aid to the  brutal tyrant.

 

U.S. Drone Pilot: ‘Did We Just Kill A Kid?’

(PekinTimes)

After Barack Obama joined the rest of us in mourning the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown, Conn., Sanford Berman, a Minnesota civil liberties activist, wrote me: “Obama’s tears for the dead Connecticut kids made me sick. What about weeping over the 400 or more children he killed with drone strikes?”

Indeed, our president has shown no palpable concern over those deaths, but a number of U.S. personnel — not only the CIA agents engaged in drone killings — are deeply troubled.

Peggy Noonan reports that David E. Sanger, in his book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” discovered that “some of those who operate the unmanned bombers are getting upset. They track victims for days. They watch them play with their children.” Then what happens: “‘It freaks you out’” (“Who Benefits From the ‘Avalanche of Leaks’?” Wall Street Journal, June 15).

For another example, I introduce you to Conor Friedersdorf and his account of “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child” (theatlantic.com, Dec. 19).

The subtitle: “May his story remind us that U.S. strikes have reportedly killed many times more kids than died in Newtown — and that we can do better.”

The story Friedersdorf highlights in the Atlantic first appeared in Germany’s Der Spiegel about an Air Force officer (not CIA) who “lamented the fact that he sometimes had to kill ‘good daddies’” … (and) “even attended their funerals” from far away.

And dig this, President Obama: “as a consequence of the job, he collapsed with stress-induced exhaustion and developed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” Yet these drones, “Hellfire missiles,” are President Obama’s favorite extra-judicial weapons against suspected terrorists.

Getting back to the Air Force officer, Brandon Bryant, with the guilty conscience. Friedersdorf’s story quotes extensively from Der Spiegel’s article, which recalls that, when Bryant got the order to fire, “he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof (of a shed) with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact …

“With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds …

“Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says. Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif. Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared.

“Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

“‘Yeah. I guess that was a kid,’ the pilot replied.

“‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

“Then someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

“They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

Friedersdorf adds: “The United States kills a lot of ‘dogs on two legs.’ The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last August that in Pakistan’s tribal areas alone, there are at least 168 credible reports of children being killed in drone strikes.” As for those in other countries, he adds, that’s “officially secret.”

He writes: “Presidents Bush and Obama have actively prevented human-rights observers from accessing full casualty data from programs that remain officially secret, so there is no way to know the total number of children American strikes have killed in the numerous countries in which they’ve been conducted, but if we arbitrarily presume that ‘just’ 84 children have died — half the bureau’s estimate from one country — the death toll would still be more than quadruple the number of children killed in Newtown, Conn.”

Are you proud, as an American, to know this?

After reading about Obama’s silence in “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child,” does the conscience of those of us who re-elected Obama ache?

As Friedersdorf writes, Obama has never spoken of these deaths as he did about the ones in Newtown, when he said: “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent … then surely we have an obligation to try. … Are we really prepared to say that dead children are the price of our freedom?”

Do you mean, Mr. President, only the dead children of Newtown?

These targeted killings continue in our name, under the ultimate authority of our president — as the huge majority of We The People stays mute.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

Judge: Army GI in WikiLeaks illegally punished

1aa

(AP) -An Army private suspected of sending reams of classified documents to the secret-sharing WikiLeaks website was illegally punished at a Marine Corps brig and should get 112 days cut from any prison sentence he receives if convicted, a military judge ruled Tuesday.

Army Col. Denise Lind ruled during a pretrial hearing that authorities went too far in their strict confinement of Pfc. Bradley Manning for nine months in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., in 2010 and 2011. Manning was confined to a windowless cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing. Brig officials said it was to keep him from hurting himself or others.

Lind said Manning’s confinement was “more rigorous than necessary.” She added that the conditions “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.”

Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. His trial begins March 6.

The 25-year-old intelligence analyst had sought to have the charges thrown out, arguing the conditions were egregious. Military prosecutors had recommended a seven-day sentence reduction, conceding Manning was improperly kept for that length of time on highly restrictive suicide watch, contrary to a psychiatrist’s recommendation.

Lind rejected a defense contention that brig commanders were influenced by higher-ranking Marine Corps officials at Quantico or the Pentagon.

Manning showed no reaction as Lind read her decision. He fidgeted when the judge took the bench to announce her ruling, sometimes tapping his chin or mouth with a pen and frequently glancing at his attorney’s notepad, but those movements tapered off during the hour and 45 minutes it took the judge to read the lengthy opinion.

Mike McKee, one of about a dozen Manning supporters in the courtroom, said he was disappointed. He called the ruling “very conservative,” although he said he didn’t expect the charges to be thrown out.

“I don’t find it a victory,” McKee said. “Credit like that becomes much less valuable if the sentence turns out to be 80 years.”

Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network, which is funding Manning’s defense, said the sentencing credit “doesn’t come close to compensating Bradley” for his harsh treatment.

“The ruling is not strong enough to give the military pause before mistreating the next American soldier awaiting trial,” Paterson wrote in an email.

Lind ruled on the first day of a scheduled four-day hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

The hearing is partly to determine whether Manning’s motivation matters. Prosecutors want the judge to bar the defense from producing evidence at trial regarding his motive for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of secret war logs and diplomatic cables. They say motive is irrelevant to whether he leaked intelligence, knowing it would be seen by al-Qaida

Manning allegedly told an online confidant-turned-informant that he leaked the material because “I want people to see the truth” and “information should be free.”

Defense attorney David Coombs said Tuesday that barring such evidence would cripple the defense’s ability to argue that Manning leaked only information that he believed couldn’t hurt the United States or help a foreign nation.

Manning has offered to take responsibility for the leaks in a pending plea offer but he still could face trial on charges such as aiding the enemy.

The Crescent, Okla., native is accused of leaking classified Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010. He is also charged with leaking 2007 video of a U.S. helicopter crew gunning down 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. The Pentagon concluded the troops acted appropriately, having mistaken the camera equipment for weapons.

Manning supporters consider him a whistleblower whose actions exposed war crimes and helped trigger the pro-democracy Arab Spring uprisings in late 2010.

New report highlights ethics and policy dangers of ‘military human enhancements’

 

(EndTheLie) -The U.S. military’s constant move towards increasing so-called “human enhancements” or, as California Polytechnic State University researcher Patrick Lin says, “mutant powers,” has raised entirely novel ethical and policy concerns, according to a new report for the Greenwall Foundation.

Massive advances in technology are requiring a radical re-thinking of the future of war in other areas as well, such as weaponized hallucinations, fully automated weapons systems (also known as “killer robots”) and rapidly advancing drone technology opening up the realistic possibility of perpetual drone flight.

Yet this type of research aimed at directly changing human body – in an effort to build what some call “super soldiers – is in a league of its own. The military’s “enhancements” cover a wide range of technologies from drugs and nutrition to genetic manipulation to electroshock to robotic implants, prosthetics and more.

In a new 108-page report prepared for the Greenwall Foundation by Patrick Lin, PhD, Maxwell Mehlman, JD and Keith Abney ABD, the many risks are outlined along with some of the many “human enhancement projects recently or currently pursued by militaries worldwide.”

“Insomuch as the US military is the most transparent about its research projects as well as the most heavily invested, most but not all of our examples are projects based in US, drawn from open-source or unclassified information,” the researchers note. Some of the technologies they outline include exoskeletons designed to radically increase a soldier’s strength and endurance, external devices designed to aid mobility and allow humans to scale walls like geckos and spiders, liquid body armor and flexible fabrics capable of stiffening into armor and “virtual capabilities” designed to prevent the soldier from even being on the battlefield at all.

One such project is the “Avatar” program spearheaded by the Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) aimed at creating “interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.”

In addition there are efforts to increase “situational awareness” through “better communication, data integration from different sources, threat identification, coordinated efforts, and so on.”

Current projects include DARPA’s Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System, a visual aid that employs a computer to instantly identify threats that otherwise “warfighters might only subconsciously see, given that only a fraction of our visual data is consciously registered.”

A similar project is DARPA’s Soldier Centric Imaging via Computational Cameras, or SCENICC, which “seeks to develop electronic contact lenses” to accomplish similar superhuman awareness.

While caffeine has long been a staple in war as an attention stimulant, the US military now uses amphetamines to “increase focus” although there are quite obviously “possible serious side-effects.”

Indeed, in one case, it seems that the stimulants were at least partially responsible for the deaths of four Canadian troops in Afghanistan, as Danger Room notes.

“Case in point: On April 18, 2002, a pair of Air Force F-16 fighter pilots returning from a 10-hour mission over Afghanistan saw flashes on the ground 18,000 feet below them,” David Axe writes. “Thinking he and his wingman were under fire by insurgents, Maj. Harry Schmidt dropped a 500-pound laser-guided bomb.”

The flashes were actually Canadian troops conducting a live-fire training exercise and the Air Force eventually dropped criminal charges. Schmidt told Chicago magazine, “I don’t know what the effect was supposed to be. All I know is something [was] happening to my body and brain” that could have influenced his judgment.

Currently, the US and other militaries are “using or exploring the use of modafinil and other drugs, which are already used illicitly to enhance academic and workplace performance,” according to the report.

Even memory is a target of potential manipulation with DARPA’s Human Assisted Neural Devices program, aimed at strengthening and restoring memories. Other programs are focused on developing drugs and treatments capable of erasing memories.

Programs are also aimed at using artificial intelligence to enhance decision-making and planning in military situations.

DARPA’s Deep Green, for instance, “automatically infers the commander’s intent and produces a plan from the commander’s hand-drawn sketches to facilitate rapid option creation, and plan recognition and understanding capabilities ensure the commander’s intent is fully represented in the system.”

DARPA is also researching enhanced learning methods with programs such as “Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts, Accelerated Learning, Education Dominance, Augmented Cognition, and Training Superiority programs.”

Real-time language translation is another area of DARPA research with programs like “Boundless Operational Language Translation (BOLT), Robust Automatic Translation of Speech (RATS), TRANSTAC, and other programs.”

Communication with military systems is also an area of increased focus with systems capable of facilitating “direct communication between pilot and aircraft” and “projects [that] seek to enable communication through thought alone, such as the brain-computer interface work—or “synthetic telepathy”—funded by the US Army Research Office.”

There are also programs focusing on specific senses such as telescoping contact lenses, DARPA’s RealNose project aimed at mimicking a dog’s sense of smell, a Canadian project aimed at filtering out “environmental noises while enhancing verbal signals” and another Canadian project seeking to develop “a tactile cueing system for pilots to detect motion without visual or auditory cues.”

Even human metabolism is an area of military focus with DARPA’s Peak Soldier Performance program aimed at “boost[ing] human endurance, both physical and cognitive.” Dietary supplements like quercetin are “being investigated for cognitive-enhancing effects under stress” as well.

“Relatedly, US and UK scientists are researching genetic and cellular (mitochondrial) enhancements to enable soldiers to run for long distances and to survive longer without food, e.g., as Alaskan sled dogs are able,” the researchers add.

DARPA’s Crystalline Cellulose Conversion to Glucose (C3G) program is aimed at eventually allowing soldiers to “eat otherwise indigestible materials, such as grass.”

Avoiding that pesky thing called sleep is another focus of military research with DARPA-funded research programs into “light and magnetic therapies to safely maintain wakefulness.”

The list grows considerably when one considers so-called “dual-use research” which includes “military-funded research projects in therapeutics or healing” with dual-use applications as enhancements for soldiers.

Areas of focus include research into stress, circulatory issues, metabolism, toxins and radiation, prosthetics, diagnostics, drug delivery systems and basic science which, oddly enough, includes DARPA’s “Living Foundries” program.

Every single area includes ethical, legal and policy considerations, all of which are likely even greater than we think since this report relies solely on publicly available information. The researchers conclude that the Pentagon needs to begin working on a framework for military human enhancement immediately.

However, as is the case with drones, this technology might – and, one might argue, likely will – be used extensively without any formal rules, guidelines or legal frameworks in place.

Ron Paul: New Year’s Resolutions for Congress

 

Ron-Paul

(Ron Paul) -As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider.  For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.  They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath.  Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas.  Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished.  We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.

Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom.  Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults.  Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to.  Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness.  Protect property rights.  Protect the individual.  That is enough.

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

Exxon Deal Brings Iraq, Kurdistan to Brink of Civil War

(Antiwar.com) War over oil in Iraq is a rather old issue, but as Iraq seems to be drawn ever near to an open civil war setting the central government against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) oil is once again the principle justification.

Oil and the contracts for them, anyway. Exxon Mobil has signed a pact with the KRG to drill in oil fields along the nebulous line of control between the two sides, near Kirkuk and the Maliki government insists it controls this region, in theory though clearly not in practice.

“The prime minister has been clear: If Exxon lays a finger on this territory, they will face the Iraqi army,” noted MP Sami Alaskary, a close aide of Maliki, adding that “we will go to war, for oil and for Iraqi sovereignty.”

Moving militarily against a major American oil company is risky in and of itself, but doubly so in this case, because the KRG has a military of its own, the Peshmearga, and has shown a willingness to deploy them against the central government’s military when they get too close to the line of control.

The KRG has regularly expressed concern about Maliki’s moves against them, saying they believe his efforts to buy large amounts of US military hardware are a prelude to an invasion of their semi-autonomous region, while warning that if Maliki continues to try to centralize power the Kurds may choose overt secession over waiting around for an invasion.

Exxon had initially had an oil deal with the Iraqi central government for the southern Qurna-1 oilfield, but believes the fields along the line of control, where they could deal with the KRG instead of the Iraqi National Oil Company, to be more profitable. As Iraq has often moved against companies that do separate business with the Kurds, Exxon has made no secret of its intention to unload its portion of Qurna-1 onto some other company.

U.S. Gov’t Asks Federal Judge to Dismiss Cases of Americans Killed by Drones

 

a1obdrone

(Activist Post) – As Americans mourn the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults in the Newtown, CT tragedy – and the gun control debate has reached a fever pitch – autonomous killing systems are being funded by American taxpayers, and drone strikes continue to kill an increasing number of civilians abroad.

Barack Obama and the U.S. government policy makers have shown an incredible level of hypocrisy before; on the one hand lamenting such senseless deaths as have occurred in “mass shootings” while conducting their own mass killing, torture, and terror campaigns in foreign lands.

A culture of violence can’t have it both ways, though, and the welcoming of drones into American skies by Congress is sure to unleash physical havoc shortly after concerns over surveillance and privacy are dismissed.

As a clear sign of what can be expected, the U.S. government has asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit brought by the families of three Americans killed by drone strikes in Yemen. If federal courts rule that these cases are without merit, it will set a dangerous precedent that only the executive branch of government can decide which Americans have a constitutional right to due process, while further enhancing a framework where the government will decide who is fit to be mourned and who should be forgotten

Reining in Obama and His Drones

(Ralph Nader) -Barack Obama, former president of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional law lecturer, should go back and review his coursework. He seems to have declined to comport his presidency to the rule of law.

Let’s focus here on his major expansion of drone warfare in defiance of international law, statutory law and the Constitution. Obama’s drones roam over multiple nations of Asia and Africa and target suspects, both known and unknown, whom the president, in his unbridled discretion, wants to evaporate for the cause of national security.

More than 2,500 people have been killed by Obama’s drones, many of them civilians and bystanders, including American citizens, irrespective of the absence of any “imminent threat” to the United States.

As Justin Elliott of ProPublica wrote: “Under Obama…only 13 percent (of those killed) could be considered militant leaders – either of the Pakistani Taliban, the Afghan Taliban, or Al Qaeda.” The remaining fatalities, apart from many innocent civilians, including children, were people oppressed by their own harsh regimes or dominated by U.S. occupation of their country. Aside from human rights and the laws of war, this distinction between civilian and combatant matters because it shows that Obama’s drones are becoming what Elliott calls “a counterinsurgency air force” for our collaborative regimes.

The “kill lists”  are the work of Obama and his advisors, led by John O. Brennan, and come straight from the White House, according to The New York Times.  Apparently, the president spends a good deal of time being prosecutor, judge, jury, executioner and concealer. But he does so quietly; this is no dramatic “thumbs-down” emperor.

Mr. Brennan spoke at Harvard Law School about a year ago and told a remarkably blasé audience that what he and the president were doing was perfectly legal under the law of self-defense. Self-defense that is defined, of course, by the president.

It appears from recent statements on The Daily Show that President Obama does not share the certitude boldly displayed by Mr. Brennan. On October 18, President Obama told John Stewart, and his audience, that “one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.”

So in the absence of “a legal architecture” of accountability, do presidents knock off whomever they want to target (along with bystanders or family members), whether or not the targeted person is actually plotting an attack against the United States? It seems that way, in spite of what is already in place legally, called the Constitution, separation of powers and due process of law. What more legal architecture does Mr. Obama need?

Obviously what he wants is a self-contained, permanent “Office of Presidential Predator Drone Assassinations” in the White House, to use, author, scholar and litigator Bruce Fein’s nomenclature. According to The New York Times, President Obama wants “ explicit rules for targeted killing…. So that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures.” Mr. Fein notes that “clear standards and procedures without accountability to the judiciary, Congress, or the American people” undermine the rule of law and our democracy.

Indeed, the whole deliberation process inside the Obama administration has been kept secret, a continuing process of morbid over-classification that even today contains secret internal legal opinions on targeted killings. The government refuses even to acknowledge that a drone air force operates over Pakistan – a fact that everybody knows including the hundreds of injured and displaced Pakistanis. This drone air force uses, what The New York Times called, “signature strikes against groups of suspected, unknown militants.”

Predictably, these strikes are constantly terrorizing thousands of families who fear a strike anytime day or night, and are causing a blowback that is expanding the number of Al Qaeda sympathizers and affiliates from Pakistan to Yemen. “Signature strikes,” according to the Times, “have prompted the greatest conflict inside the Obama administration.” Former CIA director under George W. Bush, Michael V. Hayden has publically questioned whether the expansion in the use of drones is counterproductive and creating more enemies and the desire for more revenge against the U.S.

Critics point out how many times in the past that departments and agencies have put forth misleading or false intelligence, from the Vietnam War to the arguments for invading Iraq, or have missed what they should have predicted such as the fall of the Soviet Union. This legacy of errors and duplicity should restrain presidents who execute, by ordering drone operators to push buttons that target people thousands of miles away, based on secret, so-called intelligence.

Mr. Obama wants, in Mr. Fein’s view, to have “his secret and unaccountable predator drone assassinations become permanent fixtures of the nation’s national security complex.” Were Obama to remember his constitutional law, such actions would have to be constitutionally authorized by Congress and subject to judicial review.

With his Attorney General Eric Holder maintaining that there is sufficient due process entirely inside the Executive Branch and without Congressional oversight or judicial review, don’t bet on anything more than a more secret, violent, imperial presidency that shreds the Constitution’s separation of powers and checks and balances.

And don’t bet that other countries of similar invasive bent won’t remember this green-light on illegal unilateralism when they catch up with our drone capabilities.

Kurds send in the troops to confront Iraq

(StratRisks)Iraq is gearing up for a potential conflict with its semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in a battle over the oil-rich land situated there, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.

Kurdish soldiers and equipment have been mobilised and sent to the disputed area, 170km north of Baghdad, following a long-running feud regarding oil rights in the region. Baghdad has recently sought to regain control of contracts with big companies based in the country, after the Kurds took over post American invasion.

Iraq’s parliament speaker, Osama al-Nujaifi, said on Saturday that “significant progress” had been made to resolve the stand-off. However, the latest troop movements raise the real possibility of armed conflict between the two sides: both parties have previously come close to battle, only pulling back at the last moment.

Commentators claim the build-up of troops indicates the loss of trust between the two sides as they battle over the highly lucrative oil fields, which Baghdad has laid claim to.

Kurdistan has been pushing for autonomy for decades but the current stand-off looks set to bring a breakaway Kurdish region closer to reality.

Educating the President

(anti-war)It is interesting to note that while Americans elect a president based on their perception of what he will do to create jobs and lower taxes, the issues that seem to rise to the surface and demand attention are frequently related to foreign affairs. Witness how in the aftermath of the election there has been considerable focus on what happened in Benghazi nearly three months ago, most recently leading to demands for multiple congressional investigations. The Petraeus/Broadwell scandal also resonates because the general was the proponent of the spectacularly unsuccessful COIN policies in Iraq and Afghanistan who then parlayed his resume into being named Director of the CIA, the principal U.S. instrument for collecting and analyzing foreign intelligence.

And if that weren’t enough, the U.S. appears prepared to provide heavy weapons to the Syrian opposition while the question of whether or not to negotiate with Iran continues to hang in the air, though it will probably be rejected due to the usual domestic political considerations, which means AIPAC. U.S. client Israel is, as always, creating fresh crises obliging Washington to twist like a pretzel to demonstrate its love for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all his works. Tel Aviv’s latest surprises include initiating a new wave of targeted assassinations and air attacks on Gaza while threatening harsh reprisals including possible “regime change” against the Palestinians if they go ahead to seek observer status at the United Nations at the end of this month. The White House has already put the Palestinians on notice for the U.N. bid while immediately giving a pass to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, describing it as “self-defense.”

So the rest of the world is regularly in your face and it does matter even to those who try to tune it out. For those of us who try to understand the pickle that we are in, the defeat of Mitt Romney has been a victory of sorts as it is always possible for things to get worse. Romney was truly an empty suit on foreign policy and it should be assumed that he would have continued the worst parts of the Obama program while adding some particular enhancements of his own including more money for the Pentagon. His victory would have meant a return of the neocons to the front stage coupled with a more generally aggressive military-based posture overseas which could easily have led to a war with Iran and heightened tension with Russia and China. It would also have resulted in major donors like Sheldon Adelson having a voice in policy formulation relating to the Middle East.

Most of us who seek appropriate foreign and defense policies based on the traditional principles that the government should always serve clearly defined U.S. national interests while avoiding unnecessary interventionism overseas were disappointed at the Obama re-election but can plausibly today, on Thanksgiving day, lift a glass and toast the downfall of Mitt. But we should understand that now the task is to turn up the heat and try to reform Mr. Obama. I would suggest that a seeking-to-be-sane majority attempt to convince the president to alter course in the following ten areas to repair the horrible damage that has been done to the United States through its psychopathic foreign policy over the past eleven years:

  • The war on terror (also known as “overseas contingency operations”) is a pious fiction designed to justify intervention and regime change in Muslim majority countries. It has little to do with actual terror, which is a tactic. The White House should instead understand that not all Islamists are radicals and even radical Islamists are not necessarily terrorists who actually threaten the United States. The United States has a duty to respond effectively to those who wish to harm the American people but it also has to learn to live with political Islam, which will unite in hostility against the U.S. unless the basic perception of who the enemy is can be changed.
  • A transparent, all source loss vs. gain assessment must be made on drone attacks. It is not enough that the Pentagon and CIA assert that they are necessary while the Justice Department says that they are legal. In Pakistan the independent evidence suggests that drones make more new enemies than they succeed in killing and it is also clear that they destabilize the governments where they take place. Their use has been universally condemned by many governments, NGOs, human rights organizations and even by the U.N. but they have nevertheless increased in number under the current administration. Their efficacy as a counter-terrorism tool should be challenged and the government must make a clear case and establish firm guidelines to limit their use if they are to continue. Even better, the U.S. should unilaterally suspend the use of killer drones.
  • Asserting a right to kill people in foreign countries with only limited due process should be examined as part of the assessment of drone attacks, which are the weapons of choice. The constitutionality of killing American citizens overseas without a trial and without a chance to offer a defense should be challenged as a primary issue, but the killing of anyone without transparent judicial process and the justification of imminent threat should be determined to be unacceptable.
  • A realistic assessment of the situation in Afghanistan should be made, but not by going to the generals who will offer a predictable response. Independent observers and non-government sources should be free to describe the situation based on their own on-the-ground experience. Such a study would likely conclude that the attempted nation building is beyond repair and that a settlement that includes the Taliban as a party of government is inevitable, so serious negotiations to that end should become a sine qua non. Continued pledges of support for the corrupt Karzai government should be conditional on genuine reform and efforts to establish good governance.
  • The United States should finally embrace reality regarding Iran. It should openly state that Iran does not currently pose any serious threat to U.S. interests. It should accept that Iran is interested in getting out from under sanctions and Washington should agree to negotiate in good faith to reduce the punishment that is being inflicted commensurate with agreements by Iran to modify some worrisome aspects of its nuclear program, creating a step-by-step process. The threat to intervene military should be taken off the table and Israel should be informed that attacking an Iran that does not have nuclear weapons is not in the U.S. interest and will not be supported or in any way encouraged.
  • Israel should also be informed that its relationship with the United States will henceforth be the same as that maintained with any friendly nation. Annual subsidies for Israeli defense will cease and Washington will no longer damage its own interests by protecting Israel in international venues including the United Nations.
  • The government should admit that humanitarian interventionism under President Obama has not worked any better than preemptive attacks under President George W. Bush. The necessary lesson in that respect has been learned in Libya, which has become ungovernable and a source of weapons for genuine terrorists. Obama should also be encouraged to maintain his reticence over getting more heavily involved in Syria. He should tell Hillary Clinton to stop sermonizing.
  • Obama should recognize that Russia and China will only become actual enemies again if the United States continues to criticize and even intervene in their internal politics by supporting dissidents and democracy-promoting NGOs. The internal politics of any nation, unless there is negative impact on actual U.S. interests, have nothing to do with Washington and should be off limits.
  • End the war on drugs. Forty years is enough for an expensive and lethal program that has not stopped drug trafficking or use and has only destabilized America’s neighbor Mexico to such an extent that it has nearly become a failed state. Work out rational ways to deal with drug use as a medical condition and addiction without criminalizing tens of thousands of small scale offenders.
  • There should be a broad understanding within the government foreign policy team that preemption based on the potential or actual use of force has essentially failed to make Americans safer, has generated new enemies unnecessarily, and has nearly bankrupted the United States. A new foreign policy should be shaped that is commensurate with and responsive to actual U.S. interests worldwide. Large overseas presence in the form of military bases should be eschewed and scaled back in exchange for a less muscular policy that would be cheaper, more welcomed by potential friends overseas, and ultimately capable of making the United States itself more secure.

US building drone subs to track, chase away enemy vessels: Report

(Press TV) -The United States Department of Defense is in the initial stages of developing “unmanned drone submarines” that will navigate oceans across the globe, “tracking and following enemy subs for months at a time,” RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), tasked with developing new military technologies, began the project since “the growing number of adversaries able to build and operate quiet diesel electric submarines is a national security threat that affects US and friendly naval operations around the world,” the report adds, citing a statement posted on DARPA’s website.

The drone subs would potentially be capable of patrolling US coastlines for up to 80 days at a time covering thousands of kilometers using non-conventional sensor technologies that “achieve robust continuous track of the quietest submarine targets over their entire operating envelope,” adds the DARPA’s statement.

The main task of the oceanic drone will be to “patrol the waters for enemy submarines and then chase them away if located,” the report adds, citing Discovery News. “The sub will also gather information deemed necessary by the US government, which will then be sent to US naval commanders up above on land.”

DARPA awarded a $58 million contract in August to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for design and construction of a prototype of the vessel.

Meet the Rendon Group- Selling you positives

(StratRisks) -Senior officers at the Pentagon are being advised on countering Taliban propaganda by a marketing expert whose company once weeded out reporters who wrote negative stories in Afghanistan and helped the military deceive the enemy in Iraq, according to military documents and interviews.

Since 2000, the military has paid The Rendon Group more than $100 million to help shape its communications strategy, analyze media coverage, run its propaganda programs and develop counter-narcotics efforts around the world, Pentagon documents show.

One aspect of the company’s work is aimed at changing attitudes of U.S. adversaries through messaging and advertising. Some Pentagon officials, including retired admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reject that, preferring instead to provide information and context about military operations.

John Rendon insists his company simply helps the military avoid mistakes in getting its message across to foreign audiences.

He offers advice “to people who face tough challenges and choices in a complex global information environment.” A government watchdog found Rendon’s access to Pentagon decision makers troubling.

“Rendon’s previous work vetting journalists, performing public relations, and engaging in propaganda campaigns cause some concerns about the company’s advice about changing the narrative in Afghanistan,” said Scott Amey, lead counsel for the Project on Government Oversight. “However, in Washington, D.C., officials might be less concerned about objectivity or organizational conflicts of interest, and more interested in hearing what they want to hear.”

Mullen refused to use the term “strategic communication” and told USA TODAY in an interview shortly before he retired last year that he had no use for it.

“I really do not like the term at all. It confuses people,” Mullen said. “It means all things to all people. It’s way overused and way overrated. I literally try never to use the term. We communicate as much if not more by our actions. I have become particularly concerned at a time that resources are so precious. It has become a thing unto itself. It is taking resources from the fight, I don’t have time for it.”

On Oct. 12, Rendon appeared at the Pentagon at a forum to help the military “synchronize our strategic narrative and counter the Taliban’s,” according to an announcement about his appearance. It was an off-the-record event and included dozens of senior military officers and civilian officials. They gathered in a Pentagon conference room outfitted with large television screens to allow officials in Kabul, Pakistan and Tampa, home of U.S. Central Command, to take part.

The Joint Staff declined to name the officer or civilian responsible for inviting Rendon. Army Lt. Col. Patrick Seiber, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell (PACC) “invited Rendon to speak at our weekly Federation Forum for an unclassified, non-attribution, academic discussion on his thoughts and experience in the area of strategic communications and messaging. His appearance at the Fed Forum falls in line with a wide range of views and topics presented weekly by the PACC. Mr Rendon was not financially compensated for his appearance.”

The cell is commanded by Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend.

The Rendon Group has had a controversial history. Rendon also helped the Pentagon develop its policy on strategic communications, advising the Defense Science Board in 2001 that it needed to do more to shape public opinion. The firm was the subject of a Pentagon investigation into concerns raised in Congress that Rendon helped rally support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That investigation, by the Pentagon inspector general, found that Rendon employees had not done anything improper.

More recently, in 2009, his contract in Afghanistan for strategic communication was severed by the military after it was learned that the company was weeding out reporters who might write negative stories. In 2010, Pentagon contract records show, Rendon served as a subcontractor in 2010 in Iraq supplying services for “military deception.”

Pentagon records also show that since 2009, Rendon has advised the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command when it was under the direction of Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is now the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Office of the Secretary of Defense and a strategic communication exercise called Sovereign Challenge, which is run by the Special Operations Command.

Currently, employees of The Rendon Group provide “communications support” to the Pentagon and U.S. embassies, for counter-narcotics programs, according to Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman. That support includes tracking local print, radio, television and online reporting and helping countries such as Pakistan and Colombia “conduct effective communications in support of U.S. and partner nation counter-narcotics objectives.” Those contracts were worth more than $11 million in 2011 and 2012.

The top officer at Rendon could cost a federal agency such as the Pentagon as much as $2,490 a day, or $908,000 on an annual basis, for salary, benefits and overhead, according to a government price list for a recent contract.

Todd Gitlin, a professor at the Columbia University in New York, blamed the Pentagon and Congress for failing to do their jobs in informing the public and oversight.

“That the Pentagon outsources its (public relations) counseling is perhaps unsurprising, because their in-house efforts are so frequently ineffective,” Gitlin said. “That they turn to a contractor who includes military deception as part of his expertise is also, I suppose, to be expected. Do members of Congress realize they are appropriating funds for these purposes? Do they care?”

Sick veterans wait for Obama’s promise

(Washington Times) It was one of the simplest, most poignant promises Barack Obama made in 2008 in his first campaign for the White House: He would fulfill “a sacred trust with our veterans” by significantly reducing the government’s lengthy backlog of pending claims for disability coverage. The goal: All veterans could get a decision on disability claims within 125 days.

But on this Veterans Day, as Mr. Obama prepares for his second term, the president’s pledge not only remains unfulfilled, it has become a rallying cry for sick veterans, their widows and their advocates, who now wait as long as two years for disability decisions from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Records obtained by the Washington Guardian show that as of Nov. 5, the day before Mr. Obama won re-election, 558,230 of the 820,106 veterans seeking disability coverage had their claims pending for more than the 125-day target. That’s 68.1 percent, or nearly double the 36 percent rate in the summer of 2010.

And there are tens of thousands more cases pending in various forms of appeal, where decisions can take months or years to resolve. For instance, the average time it takes to resolve a case before the Veterans Appeals Board is 883 days, or almost 2½ years.

The reason things have become worse rather than better under Mr. Obama is that the claims workers his administration hired did not keep pace with the crush of demand from Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans or the new coverage areas authorized in 2010 for Vietnam veterans.

“In the last two years, it has gotten far worse than it has ever been,” said Walter J. Tafe, director of the Burlington County Military and Veterans Service in New Jersey, who has helped thousands of veterans or their widows navigate the VA bureaucracy to secure benefits they’re owed.

Mr. Tafe said he sympathizes with the regional VA workers, who work hard but simply don’t have the resources to keep up with increased demand. He added that he seldom, if ever, sees a case, even a simple one, resolved within the 125-day target that the VA set.

“I’m happy if we can get it done in a year. And that’s a simple case. Complicated cases, it can be 18 months or 24 months, easily,” Mr. Tafe said in an interview with the Washington Guardian.

And as Veterans Affairs has tried to speed up work to keep the backlog from growing out of hand, its error rate has soared. The VA inspector general told Congress this summer that it found an error rate on high-risk disability claims of 30 percent — more than double the agency’s goals — meaning, veterans can be approved or denied benefits incorrectly.

An analysis of appeals cases by the Board of Veterans Appeals suggested that error rate could even be higher, at least in contested cases. It grants appeals or remands cases back to the VA about three-quarters of the time, mostly because of mistakes.

Another factor for the delays is the administration’s politically popular decision to approve many more illnesses to be covered under VA disability claims for Vietnam War veterans affected by Agent Orange. But when planning and resources didn’t keep up, the system crumbled under the weight of the new burdens.

“Too many veterans still wait too long. That’s unacceptable,” VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey acknowledged in September.

And so VA has set another goal and strategy. It has redeployed 1,200 employees to work on backlogged claims, increased oversight, significantly increased training of employees and begun a transition from a paper system to a paperless, digital processing system. The workers who underwent training have been able to reduce their error rates, VA said, citing one hopeful sign.

Ms. Hickey says the strategy should be a “lasting solution that will transform how we operate and eliminate the claims backlog.”

“VA’s goal is to process all disability claims within 125 days, at a 98 percent accuracy level, and eliminate the claims backlog in 2015,” the agency said in a statement to the Washington Guardian.

VA boasted that it managed to process more than 1 million benefits claims in 2012, and in the past few months, the number of pending claims has dropped a few percentage points in total even as the more complicated cases aging over 125 days has shot up.

If the VA’s new strategy meets its goal, Mr. Obama’s pledge could be fulfilled by the final year of his second term. But those on the front lines see many more obstacles, including a bureaucratic mindset that complicates even the simplest cases.

“There’s a bureaucracy that goes on inside the VA that just clogs the system,” said Mr. Tafe, who recalled a case with which he tried to help this summer, involving the widow of a veteran who died of a certified service-related illness.

He said the VA held up the elderly woman’s payments for seven months until she could prove she had not remarried in the weeks after her husband of 53 years passed away.

“It’s insulting that that’s the type of bureaucracy we’re dealing in,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking for me to tell widows we can’t give you any money because you’re stuck in a bureaucracy like this.”

Mr. Tafe said the VA has added some processing employees, but not enough to meet the crush of claims, and the new workers “can’t learn a complicated system in just a year.”

As it has for years, the VA claims it doesn’t have enough money to meet its growing demands.

But the Washington Guardian over the past three months has highlighted numerous instances in which VA employees wasted money, including $6 million on two training conferences in the vacation hot spot of Orlando, Fla., where workers enjoyed limo and helicopter rides and upgraded hotel rooms. In another case, more than $5 million was spent on security software that ultimately was never installed and collected dust on shelves.

Meanwhile, a recent investigation found that veterans at one clinic in Memphis, Tenn., waited an average of nine hours to see a doctor when they sought emergency care.

Even if processing speeds improve, the VA has the additional challenge of stopping errors. And veterans going through the process feel stuck in limbo; in some cases, already well past the one-year-mark on pending cases.

One veteran, who spoke to the Washington Guardian only on the condition of anonymity because he still works for the government, described the 28-month odyssey he has endured.

“I submitted my VA claim July 2010, and it still has not been completed. The VA estimates the claim to complete between January and June 2013,” he said.

The veterans caught in the worst predicament are those whose service falls between the Vietnam veterans — whose new Agent Orange claims are targeted for priority completion within two years — and the very newest veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, whose claims for disability often can exceed a dozen conditions that need to be validated and go to the head of the line because of the pressing needs.

“I can understand the need to complete claims of veterans who served in Vietnam 40+ years ago. I also can understand that troops on active duty in the board process have ‘head of the line’ privileges, so to speak,” the one veteran stuck for 28 months said. “But, the cost is that all other veterans are put on the back burner with a huge unknown as to when their rating will be completed.”

Ex-Wisconsin man charged in espionage case

A man with Wisconsin roots who worked overseas for the military as an Arabic linguist has been charged under the Espionage Act with allegedly copying classified documents and shipping them back to the United States, including to Stanford University, which maintains a collection in his name.

A Navy commander said the security breach by James F. Hitselberger has the potential to compromise “everything with respect to source operations in Iraq,” according to documents unsealed in Wisconsin and elsewhere last week.

Despite the dire warning, the military and civilian contractors failed to root out Hitselberger years earlier, when he was admonished for discussing sensitive information in a public place, court documents show.

Authorities then failed to arrest Hitselberger after he was caught with classified documents in April. They allowed him to fly home from Bahrain on his own. He left an airport in Germany, claiming he was too sick to travel home, but then he traveled throughout Europe for eight months. He wasn’t arrested until last month, when he went to Kuwait, which handed him over to the U.S.

Shortly after his arrest, FBI agents searched the home of Hitselberger’s parents in Fond du Lac, taking photographs but not seizing anything, according to a search warrant. Hitselberger had shipped six boxes to his parents from Bahrain. His parents did not return a call for comment Monday.

Hitselberger, 55, was indicted on two counts of taking national defense information. He has been ordered detained without bail in Washington.

From the fall of 2011 to April, Hitselberger worked as a translator for the U.S. Navy in Bahrain, with unlimited access to sensitive material. Commanders were alarmed when they learned he was accused of stealing secret documents. The documents contained sensitive information about troop positions, gaps in U.S. intelligence and commanders’ travel plans.

Hitselberger had access to “all communications with sensitive sources in highly sensitive locations, including communication procedures, true names and tradecraft used by the sources,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit for the search warrant. “The witness (a commander) related Hitselberger’s access could have potentially compromised everything with respect to source operations in Iraq.”

Despite the sensitive nature of where he worked, no video surveillance or electronic card swipe devices monitored who came and went from the work space, “giving Hitselberger unfettered access to information 24 hours a day,” according to the affidavit.

Some of the classified documents ended up at Stanford’s Hoover Institute, which holds the ” James F. Hitselberger collection 1977-2012.”

According to Hoover’s website, the collection features fliers, photographs and sound recordings relating to political conditions before and after the 1979 revolution in Iran. FBI agents found a classified document from February in a public section of the collection. Three more classified documents were in a closed part of the collection. Officials from the Hoover Institute did not return a call for comment.

Hitselberger wrote to an archivist at the institute that he knew a document from March 2005 he was sending to his collection was classified and would be until 2015.

“Regardless of the case, this material seems to warrant archival preservation. I will leave the matter up to you to determine when researchers can have access to these items, as I am fully confident that your institution balances national security concerns with the needs of researchers of original source material,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.

The FBI noted that neither Hitselberger nor anyone at Stanford has the power to declassify such military documents.

Once the Hoover Institute learned of the alleged breach, an archivist wrote Hitselberger, “in light of the FBI investigation of your collection here at Hoover, we will no longer accept additions to the collection, as we don’t want to risk receiving more classified material.”

Hitselberger wrote back, apologizing and saying he didn’t know the documents were classified. As for the investigation, Hitselberger said he had accidentally removed classified material.

“I was not able to locate my regular reading glasses that day over a month ago and I did not notice the ‘secret’ designation at the bottom,” Hitselberger wrote.

The FBI agent noted the word “secret” was in all capital letters, in red and bolded.

Sensitive information

Hitselberger attended Georgetown University in the 1980s, studying Arabic and history. He later attended graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1990s, studying politics and government.

It is unclear when he lived in Wisconsin. Online records show him living in Fond du Lac until 1979.

From October 2004 to February 2007, Hitselberger worked as a contract linguist for Titan Corp., a subsidiary of L3 Communications. He worked for the military in several camps in Iraq, including in Fallujah and Ramadi. He received a “secret” level security clearance and was trained on how to handle classified information, the affidavit said.

During his time in Iraq working for Titan, Hitselberger was admonished twice for discussing sensitive documents outside his work area. The affidavit does not say how Hitselberger left the employment with Titan, but it ended in 2007.

From early 2007 to mid-2011, he was self-employed in property rental and renovation in Michigan. He was listed as living recently lived in Ontonagon, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In June 2011, he was hired by Global Linguist Solutions LLC and underwent training on handling classified materials in Virginia and later overseas. He was sent to Bahrain in September 2011 and went to work for a naval warfare group under a joint special operations task force. Its mission is to fight terrorism with direct action, unconventional warfare and surveillance.

“Multiple forces relied on Hitselberger’s expertise in the Arabic language and sent raw data to him regularly for translation,” according to the FBI affidavit. “Through this data, Hitselberger obtained intimate knowledge of sensitive source operations, including true names and addresses of sources.”

Problems arise again

Shortly after he arrived in Bahrain, Hitselberger was loudly discussing a secret document dealing with human intelligence that he had translated while eating at the commissary. One of his supervisors told him to stop. Hitselberger laughed at him and began talking again, according to the FBI affidavit.

It does not indicate whether any discipline was taken against Hitselberger. What is clear is that he continued to work in a highly classified area with sensitive documents.

On April 11, 2012, two of Hitselberger’s supervisors saw him copy classified documents, put them in his Arabic dictionary and stuff them in his backpack. A supervisor and a commander confronted Hitselberger. He pulled out one of the documents but didn’t surrender the second until pressed.

That second document was an analysis discussing gaps in U.S. intelligence concerning the situation in Bahrain, which at the time was volatile, the affidavit said.

Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service searched Hitselberger’s room and found it cluttered with hundreds of newspapers, books and storage containers. They found a classified document on his desk. The “secret” markings were cut off the top and bottom.

In an interview, Hitselberger denied he had received training on classified documents, even though he had received intensive training twice in the previous nine months. On the classified document he trimmed, he said he could not defend himself, according to the affidavit.

The agents also found Hitselberger had mailed 86 packages from Bahrain to the U.S.

The Navy asked Global Linguist Solutions to replace Hitselberger, but he was not arrested. He left Bahrain on April 12, with a 4½-hour scheduled layover in Germany. But Hitselberger didn’t get on his flight to the U.S. His employer contacted him, but he was “highly deceptive,” the affidavit said. He said he felt a stroke coming on and couldn’t travel.

But in subsequent months he traveled to five different countries. He was scheduled to return to the U.S. in August but changed his ticket to 2013. It was unclear where he was getting money to travel or to purchase property in the U.S. for $19,000 from overseas, according to court documents.

Hitselberger was arrested when he traveled to Kuwait last month. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. Hitselberger’s attorney and the prosecutor did not return calls for comment.

Petraeus Resigns From CIA After Feds Uncover ‘Extramarital Affair’

(Wired) Petraeus told CIA employees Friday in a letter that he was stepping down “for personal reasons… After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

Former aides to Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, said they “never in a million years” would’ve believed that Petraeus would risk his storied career in such a fashion. But he did. CIA representatives confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Danger Room. “He feels that he screwed up.  He did a dishonorable thing and needed to try to do the honorable thing,” e-mails one former confidant.

According to Slate and the Associated Press, Petraeus’ partner in the affair was his biographer and confidant Paula Broadwell, who travelled with Petraeus extensively while he was the top commander in Afghanistan. The former aide, however, insists that the affair began after Petraeus retired from the military — and while he was director of the CIA.

Whenever the affair began, America’s most famous general in a generation and its leading spy is now leaving Washington in disgrace.

Petraeus’ CIA tenure first appeared to be in jeopardy last week, when the Wall Street Journal published an article alleging that Petraeus has been, in effect, asleep at the switch during the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

But Petraeus’ former aide insists that wasn’t the reason for his departure. “This had nothing to do with Benghazi or relationship with the White House — which by the way was excellent — or anything else for that matter,” the aide tells Danger Room. “Just his flawed behavior.”

 

It is difficult to overstate the impact Petraeus had on the U.S. Army. Obviously, there’s his stewardship of the surge in Iraq, which sold the military on counterinsurgency, which it would apply too much less success in Afghanistan. But Petraeus’ influence took subtler, and possibly longer-lasting, forms.

Before he took command of the Iraq war in 2007, Petraeus ran the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, a haven for Army big think. There, Petraeus tutored a lot of majors and lieutenant colonels back from Iraq and Afghanistan as they came to grips with how they could have applied their military training so assiduously but without notable effect on the wars. With counterinsurgency, Petraeus gave them, and the many others he mentored, a template for viewing both their experiences and military operations going forward. The Army’s next generation of generals will carry that as a formative experience.

Doug Ollivant, a retired Army officer who worked closely with Petraeus as the National Security Council’s director for Iraq policy under both the Bush and Obama administrations, says Petraeus’ legacy within the Army was “fixed” when Petraeus shed his uniform to helm the CIA.

“I’m kind of appalled to live in a country where you have to resign over an affair that has little to no effect on your job, although I recognize the blackmail implications,” Ollivant tells Danger Room, cautioning that if Petraeus was “sleeping with someone the director of the Agency shouldn’t be, then that’s something different.”

Just this week, Broadwell solicited from Petraeus five “Rules for Living” for Newsweek. His first lesson: “Lead by example.” His fifth: “We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear­ view mirrors—drive on and avoid making them again.”

Anonymous law enforcement officials tell NBC News that Broadwell is “under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information.” Other officials are telling the Associated Press that a FBI investigation led to the discovery of Petraeus’ affair.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the President accepted Petraeus’ resignation, and offered his “thoughts and prayers [to] Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.”

Sen. Diane Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, added in a separate statement, ”I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision.”

Petraeus met his future wife, Hollister “Holly” Knowlton, in 1973. She was the “beautiful, smart and witty” daughter of West Point’s superintendent, visiting for a weekend football game. He was a young cadet, drafted into a blind date with her, according to All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, Broadwell’s deeply detailed biography.

Soon, the two would find themselves commuting to each other’s colleges whenever time allowed, sometimes braving fierce New York snowstorms to spend time together. Petraeus would sneak in the side door of the superintendent’s home aside the Plain, the academy’s parade field, to visit Holly when she made the trip back to West Point…

David’s roots stood in sharp contrast to his bride’s patrician-military upbringing. To Petraeus, the stature of Holly’s family was intoxicating. He loved becoming a part of it. Holly’s well-connected and accomplished grandparents has a large compound in West Springfield, New Hampshire, with a boathouse on a nearby lake that they would visit often. Holly’s father, Lieutenant General Knowlton, came from a prominent and well-to-do Massachusetts family and had graduated seventh in his class at West Point…

He would become Petraeus’s “military father,” according to General Knowlton’s wife, Peggy. Petraeus would be their “fourth son.”

When Petraeus took over command of the Afghan war effort in 2010, he made an appearance before Congress. In his opening statement, he said: “My wife, Holly, is here with me today. She is a symbol of the strength and dedication of families around the globe who wait at home for their loved ones while they’re engaged in critical work in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. She has hung tough while I have been deployed for over 5 1/2 years since 9/11.”

On the heels of the Petraeus resignation came another unexpected announcement with suddenly familiar overtones: defense giant Lockheed Martin fired its interim CEO, Chris Kubasik, for a “close personal relationship” with a subordinate.