According to an audit
released today by the DoD's IG, there has been virtually no oversight
of over $8 billion paid by the Defense Department to contractors in Iraq. The report confirms a similar finding back in 2005 that over $9 billion
in Iraq war funds were unaccounted for. As a factual and non-polemical matter, this spectacular waste
of taxpayer money has undoubtedly lined the pockets
of more than a few war profiteers
. To say the Iraq war has been plagued with rampant corruption
, fraud and fiscal mismanagement is not an editorial position or overstatement: even lawmakers have begun to acknowledge this
posted by ornate insect
on May 23, 2008 -
Bush interview with Politico: "For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf
posted by CunningLinguist
on May 13, 2008 -
The $3 Trillion Shopping Spree.
"The occupation of Iraq will cost $3 trillion, America's most expensive conflict since WWII. Can YOU spend that money better? Here's your chance to go on a virtual $3 trillion shopping spree and prove it!" [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus
on May 10, 2008 -
Killing by the numbers.
"In 2007 elite U.S. snipers executed an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in cold blood. Have the insidious tactics that led to atrocities in Vietnam reemerged in Iraq?"
posted by homunculus
on May 8, 2008 -
An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones.
Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
posted by dbarefoot
on Apr 30, 2008 -
“People like you are not holding up the Constitution ..."
Or so said Major Freddy Welborn, Specialist Jeremy Hall's commanding officer in Tikrit. "Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers." (NY Times)
posted by fourcheesemac
on Apr 26, 2008 -
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 -
Riding The Tiger;
Muqtada al-Sadr and the American Dilemma in Iraq is the final chapter of Patrick Cockburn's
Seymour Hersh has called Cockburn, who writes for the British paper, The Independent, "quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today."
Meanwhile al - Sadr has called off
his million man march for now. Juan Cole asks
: What if the US military presence is juvenilizing the Iraqis and prolonging the civil war?
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 9, 2008 -
“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas."
A Vanity Fair
reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes
-- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here
] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense."
that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here
posted by digaman
on Apr 3, 2008 -
In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline
presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
posted by auralcoral
on Mar 26, 2008 -
The Man Between War and Peace.
"As head of U. S. Central Command, Admiral William 'Fox' Fallon is in charge of American military strategy for the most troubled parts of the world. Now, as the White House has been escalating the war of words with Iran, and seeming ever more determined to strike militarily before the end of this presidency, the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy. Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?" [Via Think Progress.]
posted by homunculus
on Mar 5, 2008 -
The Myth of the Surge:
"Hoping to turn enemies into allies, U.S. forces are arming Iraqis who fought with the insurgents. But it's already starting to backfire. A report from the front lines of the new Iraq." [Via Devoter.]
posted by homunculus
on Feb 26, 2008 -
"My name is Captain Doug MacNair, I coordinate the media embedding program from a desk here in Ottawa... I have embedded more than 250 journalists in our program, and no embed has given me more personal satisfaction than yours... Thanks for being handy with a pencil and a piece of paper
. Thanks for writing
so well about the things that are hard to draw. Thanks for leaving your family to do an important job. I know how that feels and it’s never easy. Most of all Richard, thanks for risking your life while you do all those things." Q&A with Richard Johnson
posted by The Loch Ness Monster
on Feb 19, 2008 -
As Iraqis See It.
"About a year ago, McClatchy Newspapers
set up a blog exclusively for contributions from its Iraqi staff. 'Inside Iraq
,' it's called, and several times a week the Iraqi staff members post on it about their experiences and impressions. 'It's an opportunity for Iraqis to talk directly to an American audience,' says Leila Fadel, the current bureau chief. As such, the blog fills a major gap in the coverage." Previously discussed here
. [Via disinformation.]
posted by homunculus
on Jan 15, 2008 -
kickoff of the New York Times' penetrating new series investigating the violence that comes home when our soldiers do.
posted by hermitosis
on Jan 14, 2008 -
has had two tours in Iraq," Jerome Lee said. "He's been through a lot, and we just want to get Lex home to our family
and let him have a happy life." It is the first time a working dog has been granted retirement to live with a handler's family. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster
on Dec 21, 2007 -
The Losers Cover Gallery
showcases the bold design sense and unique art style of UK comics artist Jock
, who also produced much of the interior art for the VERTIGO
series. Losely based on a WWII comic of the same name it became a fast paced action caper with a political edge under writer Andy Diggle
, and the covers reflect both the themes
and the cinematic style
of the comic.
posted by Artw
on Dec 17, 2007 -
"Hundreds of thousands of Americans have endured tours of duty in Iraq. They are returning home with a new word on their lips. It will have an impact on the American Experiment, inshallah
posted by Firas
on Dec 7, 2007 -
The media begins to awaken.
Recently, Tom Curley, the President and CEO of Associated Press lashed out at the absurd conditions surrounding the detention of Bilal Hussein
. After being detained for over 18 months
, the US Military has finally decided to charge him, but nobody can say for what, or when, or why, or what evidence might be brought forth. Strangely, Mr. Curley writes this without a hint of the irony present in being caught in the net of lies, deception and constructed memory hole that the media has participated in the creation of. Playing patsy comes back to bite. AP hosts a timeline of articles
posted by petrilli
on Nov 26, 2007 -
The American military finds new allies, but at what cost? One afternoon, sitting with Captain Brooks in Thrasher’s rooftop gym, I asked if he felt that what he was doing in Iraq was appreciated by the people back home. “Oh, yeah,” he said. Turning to one of his N.C.O.s, who was seated nearby, smoking a cigar, he asked, “What do you think, Sergeant Cochran?”
Lowering his voice, Cochran replied, “When that bullet goes by my head, all the politics goes right out the window. My only thought is to get my men out of there alive.”
“Thanks for quoting ‘Black Hawk Down,’ Sergeant Cochran,” Brooks drawled. Turning back to me, he said, “When I went home the last time, we went skiing in Colorado. Everywhere we went, people thanked me. One man said, ‘I don’t support the war but I support the soldiers.’ I can accept that. We have a system that allows freedom of speech. Hell, I put on the uniform to defend that.”
posted by caddis
on Nov 17, 2007 -