US calls Assange 'enemy of state'.
The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift
, the "youth initiative
of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices
, HIV: The Musical
, Man Made
, No Way Through
and War School
. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng
that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless
, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden
or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity
. Flash Galleries: DADT 1
, DADT 2
. [more inside]
Cloture to force a vote on the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill has not been achieved.
DADT will stand. Chances are not better in a possibly more Republican Senate post-November, and the bill is unlikely to pass before then. Republican voters against cloture: Every single senator; Democratic voters against cloture: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
She read from notes, stumbling occasionally, and did not so much lean on her metaphors as wrestle them to the floor and grind them underfoot; but they loved it anyway - all 15 minutes of it. She attacked everyone from the president on down, demanded stricter standards for America's service personnel, espoused an aggressive red-meat constitutionalism, and proposed a new policy which she summed up as "if you don't like it - go home."
The 2,000-strong crowd cheered wildly as she literally howled her frustration before leading them, fists pumping, in an anti-incumbent chant of "Go home!" A strange mix of patriotism and petulance, it was a rough kind of stump speech that hadn't been tested in a focus group or tried out on a campaign aide, and which was delivered with complete disregard for how it might play in the media.
Witness the startling political debut
of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, American citizen.
One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together
and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Meigs Haig, Jr.,
, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85
. Haig commanded a batallion
during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
"A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record
of recklessness and dishonesty."
Learning from history's mistakes?
In the summer of 2002, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA)
, run for 35 years by a man nicknamed Yoda
, published an 85-page report titled "Military Advantage in History
" (PDF). Drawing on Sun Tzu, Jared Diamond and Roman historian Titus Livius
, the book analyzes the rise & fall of the empires of Alexander the Great, Imperial Rome, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon's France and attempts to plot a course for a Pax Americana that can avoid the pitfalls that led to the collapse of those earlier kingdoms. (via
2009: A True Story.
"My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
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.]
- Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator
George Piro pretty fascinating.
is now understood
to have many medical consequences
unique to its modern application as munitions
, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior
when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains
, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause
of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra
. The EU has called for a moratorium
on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned
with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity
) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5
The War as We Saw It.
A powerful op-ed about Iraq written by seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division who will soon be heading home, it has received surprisingly little attention
The Bush administration is busy preparing for a possible military conflict with China.
"The most important strategic decision the United States will make in the next decade is not about Iraq, Iran or North Korea. It is about China.
What will America's basic attitude be toward the rise of China? And similarly, the most important strategic decision that Beijing will make in the next decade is: how should it relate to the United States? Depending on whether the answer to these questions is 'cooperation' or 'confrontation', one can imagine two very different 21st centuries." The Bush administration's containment strategy for China may herald the next cold war.
UAE, Jolted by Port Deal, Is Key Western Arms Buyer
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the centre of a growing controversy over its proposed management of U.S. port terminals, is one of the world's most prolific arms buyers and a multi-billion-dollar military market both for the United States and Western Europe.
"Demand the truth."
A stunningly detailed interview with (Abu-Ghraib-involved) former general Janis Karpinski
.(Interviewer: Diane Rehm.)
CENTCOM trolls for a blogger to help with the propaganda--but he picks Jesus' General
--I am a Public Affairs Officer writing from US Central Command. I would like to inquire about the possibility of you posting a link to our web site. I see that you are covering a lot of different types of stories in a lot of countries. I would like to get some of the stories out that are happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. ...
Gen. JC Christian, patriot, of course responds with an even better idea, and cc:s Pat Robertson.
Join the Army for just fifteen months!
Visit exciting foriegn lands! Now with "ultra-lite" benefits! (Warning: Requires an additional two years of service in the Army Reserve / National Guard, may contain additional deployments overseas, stop-loss, 4 1/2 years in the inactive reserve, and possible devil's bargains.)
How America Works
In the tradition of They Rule
, Jonathan Schwarz from A Tiny Revolution
provides some context in regards to the 1996 funeral of Thomas Enders.
Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs (SOMNIA)
A news aggregator since when there weren't many news aggregators. SOMNIA is a great geopolitical gift from the Canadian Forces College. From the Guardian to the Christian Science Monitor, from the Washington Times to the Washington Post, many military and geopolitical news articles aggregated on a daily basis, segregated into Canadian News, Canadian Commentary, International News and International commentary I myself have been a fan since before the war on Kosovo. Enjoy!
Links to the government memoranda on torture and the Geneva Convention can be found here
(sign-up required) or else through the "featured link" on www.c-span.org. While Alberto Gonzales will probably be confirmed as Attorney General, the memoranda were the subject of some stinging testimony by such heavy-hitters as Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School, at the end of today's confirmation hearing.
Terrorising free speech.
Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win"
, has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
Howard Dean speaks
--on the coming draft. Any of you going to be 20 in 2005, and/or medical personnel? And girls, don't think you'll be exempt. (altho we know Jenna and Barbara of course will be.)
John Edwards: "No military draft if Democrats win"
- which comes as a relief to me today as my own son turns eighteen. However, as it stands, the Selective Service System has been ramping up its ability to begin a draft as early as Spring 2005
, especially a possibility should Congressional Bills S. 89
and H.R. 163
, known as the "Universal National Service Act of 2003
" pass in the House and Senate. Many people who have been in the military feel a draft would actually degrade the quality of our military forces
. Nonetheless, this time around, a draft would include men and women. And the Selective Service is also looking for a few good people to become a Selective Service System Local Board Member
, one of the tasks of which is to guarantee
"that each CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR is properly CLASSIFIED, PLACED, and
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
"The men who killed the contractors were not turned in,
and very few weapons were surrendered, but the Americans agreed to a deal nonetheless."
A letter from Falluja, and a forshadow of US approach
to iraq in the months and years to come? One wonders about about the potential blowback
Be All That You Can Be
. Draft legislation - Coming soon, to a real world near you!
Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?"
The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions.
As Helena Cobham notes
, They don't want to call it a draft but it sure ain't your father's "all-volunteer military" any more... Marine's Girl
, Cobham's cause celebre
of some time ago, writes about stop-loss here
. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers
"We entered the country at midnight on March 26..."
Isn't a bit odd how these letters -- all with different signatures at the bottom -- are identical? Pfc. David Deaconson
and Spc. Nathan Whitelatch
, for example, don't just seem to have the same writing style, they have the same writing
! It would seem that at least some parts of the US government still don't quite get
the internet. Is this kind of letters-to-the-editor war propaganda standard operating procedure?
Labor Day's forgotten ones.
"...there is one class of workers who are largely ignored during Labor Day celebrations, even as our country remains at war on multiple fronts: members of the U.S. armed forces."
The prison diary
of Scottish Parliament MP (and successful self-publicist
) Tommy Sheridan
, jailed for seven days
(not for the first time
) for refusing to pay a fine imposed after he was found guilty of a breach of the peace while demonstrating at Faslane
against nuclear weapons.
An Open Letter to Congress
from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.
"In addition to the inappropriate purchases, the GAO said more than 1,200 Army employees wrote bad checks to pay their government credit card bills. Last year alone, that cost taxpayers $3.8 million in higher fees and lost rebates." You mean, the government practices bad accounting? Ron Paul
points out that the Congress commits the worst accounting fraud of all
. But the most important issue of all is, with the government paying for Strip Club tips, gambling, and wine, does this mean that God will no longer bless America?
Iraq improves its oil reserves
This piece belongs with the other post I recently posted on oil and world political and military strategies. I guess that since filling my gas tank this evening I have narrowed my focus a bit, for which, apologies.