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Onward Christian Soldiers

"In the days surrounding the invasion of Iraq, cover sheets...began adorning top-secret intelligence briefings produced by [former defense secretary] Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The sheets juxtaposed war images with inspirational Bible quotes and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House, where they were read by the man who, after September 11, referred to America's war on terror as a 'crusade.'" [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 17, 2009 - 82 comments

US Military Presence Worldwide

Mission Creep: "Bush and Rumsfeld may be history, but America's new global footprint lives on." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2008 - 33 comments

Can you trust a television military analyst?

Television military analysts are wooed, courted, and privileged by the Pentagon. An in-depth investigative report by the New York Times uncovers logrolling, shilling, touting, back-scratching, and just plain bias on the part of the experts that television networks put on the air to talk about the war. Some of them appear to be as good as owned by the Defense Department. "The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves."
posted by Mo Nickels on Apr 19, 2008 - 37 comments

The First Casualty of War? Truth

War vs. Democracy: Untold Stories from the Lynch / Tillman Hearing -- ...U.S. soldiers whose injuries or deaths remain mired in secrecy. Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman advocated strongly for other families still waiting for answers. ... "The family was told, it was -- quote -- 'an ambush by insurgents.' Two years later, they found out that those -- quote -- 'insurgents' happened to be the same Iraqi troops that he was training. Before his death, he told his chain of command that these same troops that he was training were trying to kill him and his team. He was told to keep his mouth shut." ... Thorough and eye-opening examination of the many ways the military spun, lied, withheld information on soldier deaths and injuries for propaganda purposes (and even delayed action until cameras were present in the Jessica Lynch rescue).
posted by amberglow on May 12, 2007 - 29 comments

Ethics, mental health, reviewed

Pentagon survey on troops in Iraq. Coverage from US News, AP.
posted by ClaudiaCenter on May 5, 2007 - 25 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Daniel Ellsberg interview

I don't believe they'll give up on the bases and the oil. Nor will its successors, Republican or Democrat. So I think that's what we will be doing, staying forever. Unless the rest of us, outside the government, force change on the leadership of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, which will be difficult and take a long time.
From DailyKos comes an excellent series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg; leaker of The Pentagon Papers. Part 1: The Pentagon Papers and the Overlooked 1968 Leaks, Part 2: Judith Miller, the New York Times and Government-Controlled Press, Part 3: The Cult of Secrecy in Government and Its Undermining of Democracy, Part 4: Whistleblowing and Effective Activism, Part 5: Iraq/Vietnam Parallels and Other Foreign Policy Fiascos and Part 6: Bush, the Next 9/11 and the Approaching Police State.
posted by afu on Mar 23, 2006 - 48 comments

Your Hosts, Lynndie and Charles, Welcome You to the New Interrogation Facility

Adieu, Abu Ghraib -- we hardly knew ye (classified, ya know.) In the wake of a damning Amnesty International report, military spokesperson Keir-Kevin Curry says the infamous Baghdad prison will be closed within three months, its occupants transferred to other facilities in Iraq, including Camp Cropper (and don't ask what's happening there , or the terrorists win.) Or is Curry's statement premature? And would the closing of Abu Ghraib represent a change of policy, or merely rebranding the same old same old to avoid bad associations?
posted by digaman on Mar 9, 2006 - 51 comments

Sticker Shock and Awe

Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
posted by digaman on Feb 3, 2006 - 112 comments

... they want to set the record straight. ...

an example of Operation Homefront? --this news report about a Reservist back from Iraq is apparently part of a new Pentagon propaganda operation aimed at us. ...Did Diaz return to the U.S. on emergency leave with an agenda -- to offer a positive spin that could help counter growing concerns among Americans about the U.S. exit strategy? How do we know that's not his strategy, especially after he discloses that superior officers encouraged him to talk about his experiences in Iraq? ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 4, 2006 - 91 comments

Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out.

Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out. Officials in Washington have admitted that the US military has bribed Iraqi journalists with under-the-table payoffs of up to $200 a month -- twice the average Iraqi monthly income -- for producing upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about the war in Iraq. This follows a similar report yesterday that the military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of pro-American articles written by the US Information Operations Task Force in Baghdad. A Pentagon spokesman described the report as "troubling". "This article raises some questions as to whether or not some of the practices that are described in there are consistent with the principles of this department."
posted by insomnia_lj on Dec 1, 2005 - 62 comments

medical or mental attrition?

Pentagon to close Walter Reed Medical Center
More than 3,700 doctors and other medical personnel will be moved to a new and expanded facility to be built at the Navy's National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., a few miles away. The move will cost nearly $989 million, and is expected to save more than $301 million over 20 years as the Pentagon seeks to streamline care and provide state of the art medical treatment for wounded servicemen and women.
And saving $301 million over 20 years is better than spending a billion dollars within the next 2 years, how? And never mind those 18,000+ American casualties coming back from the M.E. I'm sure they'll be able to improvise bedrolls during the renovations up in Bethesda...
posted by vhsiv on Aug 25, 2005 - 42 comments

Stone Cold

It's never too late to declare your support for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by digaman on Aug 23, 2005 - 49 comments

Bread and Circuses, 9/11 Style

You can't make this stuff up: Rumsfeld announces that the Bush administration is planning to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with an "America Supports You freedom walk" from the Pentagon saluting the troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by a show by "country music superstar" Clint Black at the National Mall. (Not to imply that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or anything...)
posted by digaman on Aug 10, 2005 - 136 comments

Rumsfeld hidews prisoner from Red Cross

Pentagon officials tell NBC News that late last year, at the same time U.S. military police were allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered that one Iraqi prisoner be held “off the books” — hidden entirely from the International Red Cross and anyone else — in possible violation of international law.
posted by hipnerd on Jun 17, 2004 - 60 comments

douglas feith

Douglas Feith - "What has the Pentagon's third man done wrong? Everything."
How many people know who Feith is? As the #3 man in the Pentagon, and a key architect of the war in Iraq, with many interesting affiliations more should. ,
posted by specialk420 on May 21, 2004 - 13 comments

Yodaville???

The Pentagon as Global Slumlord -- by Urban Theorist Mike Davis (author of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear):
The battle of Fallujah, together with the conflicts unfolding in Shiia cities and Baghdad slums, are high-stakes tests, not just of U.S. policy in Iraq, but of Washington's ability to dominate what Pentagon planners consider the "key battlespace of the future" -- the Third World city.
His recent essay, Planet of Slums provides more on the ever-growing living- (and battle-?)spaces for hundreds of millions.
posted by amberglow on Apr 19, 2004 - 31 comments

Ahmad Chalabi - It's All Bad News

Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's heartthrob and the State Department's and CIA's heartbreak, has taken the lead in a yearlong political marathon. Temporary constitutional arrangements are structured to give the future prime minister more power than the president... Chalabi holds the ultimate weapons -- several dozen tons of documents and individual files seized by his Iraqi National Congress from Saddam Hussein's secret security apparatus. Coupled with his position as head of the de-Baathification commission, Chalabi, barely a year since he returned to his homeland after 45 years of exile, has emerged as the power behind a vacant throne... All the bases are loaded for a home run by MVP Chalabi. If successful, it will be an additional campaign issue president Bush could have done without. Saddam was good riddance. But was Chalabi a worthy democratic trade?
posted by y2karl on Mar 29, 2004 - 18 comments

CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak

CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak The CIA will ask the Justice Department to investigate the leak of a 16-page classified Pentagon memo that listed and briefly described raw agency intelligence on any relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, according to congressional and administration sources...and if this probe is like so many others, that will be the end of this news item.
posted by Postroad on Nov 18, 2003 - 10 comments

State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts... to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy. Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems... warned... many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society. Several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials until recently... The work is now being relied on heavily as occupation forces struggle to impose stability in Iraq.
posted by y2karl on Oct 20, 2003 - 9 comments

The Not SO Willing And The Not So Able Plus Postwar Window Closing in Iraq

Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace The Bush administration planned well and won the war with minimal allied casualties. Now, according to interviews with dozens of administration officials, military leaders and independent analysts, missteps in the planning for the subsequent peace could threaten the lives of soldiers and drain U.S. resources indefinitely and cloud the victory itself. Lonely At The Top Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that he hoped to enlist as many as 30,000 troops from 49 nations. The problem, however, is that many of the recruits the Pentagon has tried to line up so far appear to fall into two categories: the not so willing and the not that able. Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty - The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel. Turning and turning in the widening gyre...
posted by y2karl on Jul 18, 2003 - 52 comments

'No real planning for postwar Iraq'

'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis on Jul 12, 2003 - 64 comments

Today's most buried headline

This week's most buried headline could be a real stinker this week for the Pentagon. Apparently over $1 trillion are missing as well as "dozens of tanks, missiles and planes."
posted by jackspace on May 19, 2003 - 25 comments

Dealing With Saddam

Dealing With Saddam What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command? According to Reuters AlertNet "The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured." Checking the deck quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape as a weapon of torture, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts. An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.

Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!"
posted by Dunvegan on Apr 11, 2003 - 27 comments

Back to You General... er, Phil...

Though you won’t hear about them, there are dozens of Pentagon P.R. officers embedded with reporters in Iraq.
posted by cornbread on Apr 2, 2003 - 21 comments

Ignorance Is Truth.

"Now America is reappraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week and rewriting the war plan. The first plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another plan." Seems patently obvious, no? But tell Iraqi state television that and suddenly you're speaking from "a position of complete ignorance," according to the White House.

Peter Arnett, highly respected, Pulitzer Prize winner and the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden on film, wouldn't back down the last time a network caved into craven submission at hands of the American military, and he's been sacked by NBC/MSNBC for again refusing to do so. There's no First Amendment case, obviously, and no real surprise that the military would be exerting pressure to maintain control over information, but does the firing of high-profile Arnett for the repeating the obvious increase anybody's confidence that we're hearing anything resembling the truth?
posted by JollyWanker on Mar 31, 2003 - 30 comments

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq.

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq. (RealAudio, 49 minutes into the broadcast.)
In an interview with Radio One Ireland, Kate Adie, former chief news correspondent for the BBC, drops a bombshell.
If satellite uplinks from the press are detected in Baghdad, they would be "targeted down", said a senior US military official. "They know this. They've been warned."
Ms. Adie also revealed that the US military are openly asking journalists what their feelings are on the war, and are using this information to block reporters from access to reporting on the conflict.
These actions are "shameless" and "entirely hostile to the free spread of information," says Ms. Adie. "What actually appalls me is the difference between twelve years ago and now. I've seen a complete erosion of any kind of acknowledgment that reporters should be able to report as they witness."
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 12, 2003 - 74 comments

An excellent piece of media analysis

An excellent piece of media analysis by Michael Wolff in New York Magazine looking at the current summer-movie-plot version of Al Qaeda being artfully constructed by the NY Times ...
Then, perhaps most disconcertingly, the overall narrative itself is patently a dumbed-down rehash. It's Cold War stuff. There is the ubiquitous and yet unknown and unknowable enemy. There's the international jihad, which, with only minor adjustments, replaces the international communist conspiracy. There's the sudden purported hegemony of the Muslim world -- a new Soviet-bloc-style ideological monolith. There is the otherworldly dedication of operatives bent on overthrowing the West. There are the cells. There is the myth of superhuman discipline. There is now, even, the developing Kremlinology of the next tier of men who replace Osama. And at the center of the story, of course, is the bomb. Whether in massive retaliatory form or as a dirty-bomb package, it serves the same effect.
(link cribbed from Altercation)
posted by mantid on Jul 1, 2002 - 8 comments

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