A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq
on Apr 10, 2011 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
"Early in the Iraq War, it cost taxpayers $100,000 per year to insure a civilian contractor who was paid $100,000 per year. So the insurance was the same amount as the salary."
"Another very peculiar part of this particular story is that because of another law, the U.S. actually reimburses the insurance companies for any civilians who are injured in a combat situation. So at the very end, the insurance company will ultimately submit the bill to the U.S. government, and they will get paid back for any injury involving a combat wound."
"Let me ask a stupid question
: What is the point of the insurance company if taxpayers are paying for the premium and then also paying for the medical bill?
" [more inside]
posted by webhund
on Jan 12, 2010 -
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 -
Oh, You Mean Those Records
The Pentagon released "newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard." The earlier statement that the records were inadvertently destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight." [Previously discussed here and here.]
posted by kirkaracha
on Jul 23, 2004 -
The dog ate my service records.
The Pentagon has announced that the payroll records for National Guard service for three months between 1972 and 1973 have been accidentally destroyed. These three months coincidentally cover the disputed period of George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. (Similar Google link here
, via dKos
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jul 9, 2004 -
"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 -
Military may take part in DC Sniper Hunt
The Pentagon is making some noise about possibly using military personnel and equipment in the hunt for the DC area sniper. I am normally not a paranoid conspiracy type but...
Would it be unthinkable that the government could be behind the whole thing. First they put out trained snipers to kill random victims and scare the hell out of the public. Then the military come in and save the day. At the same time they set a precedent for using the military to "fight crime" in the country. While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration?
posted by Blubble
on Oct 15, 2002 -
M.I.T. Physicist Says Pentagon Is Trying To Silence Him.
(NYTimes, registration required) So, it appears that the Pentagon commissions a panel to "review" ("refute"?) a contrary assessment of antimissile technology, but when an unintended byproduct of that review is more
criticism of said technology, they pull this little snow job? I guess we've heard this song before, but it's still laughable. Interesting comment from the Brass: "just because it is made public doesn't mean it's declassified." I guess he must mean "authorized", because for my money, that's exactly
what it means.
posted by topolino
on Jul 27, 2001 -
Pentagon to modify gay policy
They have instituted a policy that attempts to prevent mistreatment or harassment against people who aren't even allowed to say who they are. I'm sure the gay men and women serving our country are sleeping much easier tonight.
posted by brian
on Jul 22, 2000 -
Another Penatagon report
indicates that there is no forseeable relief for gays in the military? When 85% of respondents (of the 71,500 U.S. military service personnel polled worldwide) state that they believe that anti-gay words and behavior is tolerated and 80% claim that they've heard an offensive remark (in the ranks) about homosexuals in the past year, is another onslaught of talking heads and pointless summits the answer? will it take another barry winchell to shake this administration into real action?
posted by jburr
on Mar 25, 2000 -