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 -
Need money? Have a blog? Well, your troubles may be over: "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering." Of course, if you don't want to play along, there are other ways to make your blog useful:
Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience.... If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and... take down the site (and the blogger) themselves....
Who might you be interested in "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers"?
Oh, the US military.
posted by orthogonality
on Apr 5, 2008 -
Discoveries made using satellite imagery,
particularly via Google Earth, have made headlines
in the blue
before. Increasingly high-resolution photos, combined with obsessive
interest, have lead inevitably to the next step: interpretation
and analysis of spots on the Earth's surface for which information is
restricted, censored, or classified, such as the preparedness of military defenses in
, or the viability of Saudi Arabia's next big oil play
. Of course, not all mapping is benevolent
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul
on Mar 13, 2008 -
Presented in a way that is familiar to gimmicky kitchen appliances, this frightening weapon
can fire 120,000 rounds per minute without a human operator. It makes no noise or flash, and can be mounted anywhere and is operated remotely. [more inside]
posted by hellslinger
on Mar 10, 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 -
Never in History Have Generals Revolted Against a War Like They are About IRAQ.
"I (insert name), having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God."
Unlike the enlisted folks
, officers only swear an allegiance to the Constitution.
posted by augustweed
on Sep 26, 2007 -
"Hey look at this shiny trinket, I think I'll pick it up and see what it---OH GOD MY FACE." A Pentagon group has
encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
posted by null terminated
on Sep 24, 2007 -
The killing of Jamie Dean.
"Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 4, 2007 -
The numbers are classified, the dollars are classified, but there's no doubt that the number of "Green Badgers
" are catching up to, and sometimes surpassing, that of "Blue Badgers
" in some of the US's most sensitive national security positions. Bob Baer
is talking about it. Others
have been, too. R.J. Hillhouse has been writing a blog for roughly six months now on the phenomenon: The Spy Who Billed Me
posted by Emperor SnooKloze
on Jul 8, 2007 -
Reaping What We Sow? Right now, White House lawyers are working up new rules that will govern what CIA interrogators can do to prisoners in secret. Those rules will set the standard not only for the CIA but also for what kind of treatment captured American soldiers can expect from their captors, now and in future wars. Before the president once again approves a policy of official cruelty, he should reflect on that.Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. (Washington Post)
Some other opinions. (youtube) Thoughtful commentary. More.
posted by spitbull
on May 17, 2007 -
Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family.
The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube
, Hi5, Pandora
, and Photobucket
on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
posted by dejah420
on May 14, 2007 -
Embrace the Suck.
Intensive military activity creates an incubator for slang. By bringing together people from geographically diverse backgrounds, putting them into stressful circumstances, and teaching them a new language of jargon and acronym
, the armed forces create fertile ground for new idioms - many of which return home in civvies when the conflicts are over. In the Civil War
, World War I
and World War II
, in Korea
and in Viet Nam
, servicepeople created or popularized now-familiar terms like shoddy, hotshot, cooties, tailspin, fleabag, face time, joystick, SNAFU, FUBAR, flaky, gung ho, no sweat, flame-out,
and many, many others
Now, the GWOT
brings us a new generation
. Military columnist Austin Bay
has published an early collection of neologisms from Gulf War II
. On NPR, Bay explains what The Suck is
, how to identify a fobbit
, and why Marines look down on the attitude of Semper I
posted by Miko
on Mar 31, 2007 -
"I thought, 'Why don't we just raid the place?' "
--the newest and only currently viable way to check up on how the billions and billions we're spending on reconstruction in Iraq is being spent--fake raids by the US military, making it seem like the recipients aren't receiving aid from us, and in fact are being targeted by us.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 23, 2007 -
Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away
Marine veteran Jonathan Schulze survived the war in Iraq but almost two years after he came home, it ended up killing him, reports The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
He had one of the toughest jobs in the war: taming the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi in 2004.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 15, 2007 -
The private war of women soldiers.
"Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Mar 8, 2007 -
Confessions of an Army Torturer
"...as an army interrogator, he tortured detainees for information he admits they rarely had. Since leaving Iraq he’s taken this story public, doing battle on national television against the war’s architects for giving him the orders he regrets he obeyed...
posted by Postroad
on Mar 3, 2007 -
Born to War
is a series of paintings of American women killed in Iraq. The combination of the increasing role of women in the American military and the blurring of lines between combat and non-combat roles in Iraq have made this the first war in which female US soldiers have died in direct combat. The focus on a smaller number of women provides a more approachable view of casualties than more general sites like Iraq Body Count
and raises some interesting questions about the role of women in the US military.
posted by scottreynen
on Feb 23, 2007 -