Because of its persistent inability to tally its accounts, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year. -- Reuters journalist Scot J. Paltrow investigates how the US military's bad accounting not only wastes taxpayers money
, but helps ruin the life of ordinary soldiers and veterans
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 23, 2013 -
The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1
. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 4, 2013 -
'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel
that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Aug 16, 2012 -
John Fliszar had a heart attack in 2006 and was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
“When I was in the emergency room with him, he asked me to promise him, if he died, to make sure his ashes were interred in the Naval Academy,” said Mark Ketterson. “He loved that place. He very much wanted to be there.” The memorial coordinator asked about his relationship to the deceased. Ketterson said that John Fliszar was his husband. [more inside]
posted by BZArcher
on Jan 30, 2011 -
Since the spring of 2010
, all-volunteer units called Female Engagement Teams
have been doing what male soldiers can't: speak with women and children in rural Afghani communities
, both to gain information and to foster trust. These soldiers may carry M4 rifles, but their toolkit includes sidewalk chalk and jump ropes
, too. The FETs, trained for this specific mission grew out of more ad hoc programs like the Lioness program for traffic checkpoints in Iraq
. "The FET mission to me is so critical that if I had to exchange blood for it, I would," said Sgt. 1st Class Sawyer Alberi
, an FET team leader for the National Guard. "The FET mission is nested very closely in the COIN mission, and unless you do it, you're not doing the whole COIN mission." First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, describes the teams' role
. Despite the apparent importance of the FETs' work, the program is still an experiment; it is unclear whether it will continue after the current teams' deployment
posted by ocherdraco
on Jan 3, 2011 -
A Muslim American soldier battles on friendly ground.
'In his 23 months in the Army, Klawonn has consistently earned among the highest physical training scores in his unit. He's at the top in weapons qualifications and is the only one in his battalion to be invited to try out for the Special Forces. But the thing that stands out most, says Capt. Christopher Arata, his commander, is Klawonn's impossibly clean record. Not one reprimand. Never even late to a morning formation.'
'You watch your words and actions, censoring anything that could be interpreted as anger. You do so even as you try to ignore the names piled on you. Sand monkey. Carpet jockey. Raghead. Zachari bin Laden. Nidal Klawonn. But the hardest to shake off -- the name that cuts deepest, especially for a man who defied his family and community to become a U.S. soldier -- is this one: Terrorist. "To be looked upon by the people you serve with, by people you've trusted your life with, as the enemy," Klawonn says, sitting in his barracks a month after receiving the note. His voice trails off as he struggles to describe the anger he feels. "It's not right." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 24, 2010 -
We Negotiate With Terrorists.
With an abrupt move opposite of stated policy, abducted American journalist Jill Carroll's life may have been saved by the US military yielding to the demands of her captors. Have gender, politics, and media coverage become factors erroding the mantra that the US Government formally
posted by trick
on Jan 26, 2006 -
"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney
, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood
. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they
told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
posted by drakepool
on May 30, 2005 -
1 million U.S. troops have gone to war
The data also show that one out of every three of those service members has gone more than once. The Pentagon says more than 5,500 servicemen have deserted
since the war started in Iraq. Few experts are surprised to hear that a recent army survey discovered that half the soldiers were not planning to re-enlist. Experts are divided over how stretched America’s military really is. But they agree that another conflict would put the military in overdrive. Another war would require a shift to a “no-kidding wartime posture in which everybody who could shoot was given a rifle and sent to the front,” according to John Pike, of GlobalSecurity.org.
- US Army plagued by desertion and plunging morale
posted by y2karl
on Dec 11, 2004 -
You will be conquered by Stealth and Deception :
in the swift advance of a long-planned coup against secular society, to launch an American theocracy, "the Dominionists
are succeeding in their quest for national control and world power" - Kathleen Yurica, founder of the Yurica Report
which, like Theocracy Watch
, monitors the American religious right writes "Since the writing and posting of my essay, The Despoiling of America in February 2004, there is more and more evidence that not only has a cultural war been launched, but that the plotters are winning it....First the hard right dominionists took over the Southern Baptist Convention with its 16 million members and a fortune in corporate businesses. Then they took over the Republican Party...they are moving to limit the power of the Supreme Court. Now there is evidence dominionists are trying to take over the U. S. military
....Americans and the mainstream media have been very slow in catching on to the fact that we are in a war — a war that is cultural, religious and political, a war that uses stealth and deception and the rules of engagement written by the enemies to representative democracy. Unless Americans wake up, we could lose that war."
posted by troutfishing
on Oct 14, 2004 -
At least four times in the fall of 2002, the president and his advisers invoked the specter of a "mushroom cloud," and some of them, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, described Iraq's nuclear ambitions as a threat to the American homeland... Among the closely held internal judgments of the Iraq Survey Group, overseen by David Kay as special representative of CIA Director George J. Tenet, are that Iraq's nuclear weapons scientists did no significant arms-related work after 1991, that facilities with suspicious new construction proved benign, and that equipment of potential use to a nuclear program remained under seal or in civilian industrial use.
So in regards to Iraq's possession of the one weapon we can be certain causes mass destruction: the atomic bomb
, as Gregg Easterbrook
put it, the verdict is the unsurprising (and unsurprisingly closely held
) nope, not, zero, zip, nada...
posted by y2karl
on Oct 27, 2003 -
U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends
which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.
The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.
But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
posted by fenriq
on Sep 8, 2003 -
Sure, they died for their country, but who's counting?!
ABC has a webpage
for US personnel who have died during the war on terror, but it shows only 41 have casualties. Admittedly, they have yet to update their webpage after the latest casualties
, but even if they did, they would still be wrong. CNN recently said
that 47 US personnel have died in Operation Enduring Freedom. That number too is wrong.
To tell the truth, I couldn't find a single story on any major news website that lists all of the US personnel who have died in operation Enduring Freedom, but these sites
appear to be the closest. Neither are fully accurate, however.
A beer on me to the first person who can tell me exactly how many US personnel have died (post 9/11) as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Search the web. Find the names. Compare lists
. Extra points to anyone who can offer up some compelling reasons why our media overlords can't keep score. Do we want to know these people's names? Does it matter?!
posted by insomnia_lj
on Feb 3, 2003 -
has a story about a preliminary UN report claiming there could have been a cover-up regarding the "wedding-party airstrike" earlier this month. Reuters/Yahoo also has the story
but it's not getting much coverage in US media. This blog
claims the story is front page material in a few european countries. The US military denies
any cover up.
posted by rhyax
on Jul 29, 2002 -
Air Force pilot in Saudi Arabia forced to wear local garb
when going off-base. Lt. Col. Martha McSally sued the Secretary of Defense last month over the requirement that female personnel wear the abaya
and matching head scarf while outside Prince Sultan Air Force Base. "If it were in our national security to deploy to South Africa under apartheid, would we have found it acceptable or customary to segregate African American soldiers from other American soldiers, and say, 'It's just a cultural thing?' "
posted by Mapes
on Jan 7, 2002 -
If I live to be 1000, I will never be able to properly underestimate the stupidity of human beings.
Many of the enlisted personnel who are now seeking honorable discharges argue they didn't sign up to defend America; they just wanted to learn a trade or earn money for college.
I'd let them go if they pay back the money spent of training and salary.
posted by thirteen
on Oct 18, 2001 -
Calling up reserves?
The Pentagon is considering a call up of army reservists for the first time since the Gulf War. (The last call up was in January 1991 when more than 265,000 reservists were placed on stand-by for active duty.)
posted by krisjohn
on Sep 13, 2001 -
MSNBC's Robert Wright seemes confused
in this story about the Global Positioning System. He misinforms the reader about how terrorists can now use the military's encrypted GPS signals for more accurate positioning. (FYI: you are still unable to use the military's encrypted GPS signals, contrary to what Wright claims.) more inside>>
posted by darainwa
on Jun 28, 2000 -