National Guard troops in Manville, NJ, discover their Light Medium Tactical Vehicles can't drive underwater.
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.
Before 1969, the city of Zap was best known as the punch line of a joke about three towns in North Dakota that sounded like Rice Krispies—Zap, Gackle, and Mott. But when student body president Charles "Chuck" Stroup at North Dakota State University needed an alternative to Fort Lauderdale while stuck in North Dakota for spring break, he enlisted the help of some student journalists at the Spectrum newspaper to promote the "Zip to Zap," an event that became the only "official" riot in the history of North Dakota. The tiny coal mining town originally looked forward to the impromptu "Zip" festival, which had so much advance buzz that the Wham-O toy company created a toy called Zip Zap in honor of the imminent event. Unfortunately, after throngs of students descended on Zap, the only two bars in town quickly ran out of beer, and the North Dakota National Guard was called into extinguish the bonfire, beer brawls, and riot that ensued. For more info about about how the "Zip to Zap" fit in context with the 1960s zeitgeist, look here, here, and here.
Openly Gay Soulforce Activists in Minnesota, U.S., attempt to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard because they wish to serve, but are rejected or have their applications put on hold. Here are some local news reports (beware possible sound-enabled ads). Should the U.S. policy change?
Kent State, May 4, 1970 Today is the 35th anniversary of the Kent State shootings (via Wood s Lot) Alan Canfora who faced the troops, eyewitness photographs the search for historical accuracy and the legacy
Bush Considers Military Role in Flu Fight If the flu (say) breaks out in New Jersey, why not use the New Jersey National Guard. Just what is the guard for? Simply to be sent overseas for our bringing freedom to nations not having what we believe we have?
As reported by New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO / ABC26 LA National Guard Wants Equipment to Come Back From Iraq
Newsweek reports that Irony is alive and well. Newsweek reveals that CBS and 60 Minutes, in order to make room for their now-infamous report on alleged documents from George Bush's National Guard Service, dropped their originally planned piece for that evening's show... about the Bush administration being misled on erroneous documents pertaining to the alleged Iraqi purchases of uranium from Niger.
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. First the NYTimes, then CBS. Who will face reality?
Why Bush Left Texas Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing... If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation... There's that elephant in the living room again.
"Any day in which Bush's Nat'l Guard service is the dominant news story is a lost day for the Kerry campaign." As another round of media yadayada (see below) is about to emerge over President Bush's National Guard service or lack thereof, Noam Scheiber explains why this is probably very bad news for ... Kerry. We know who Bush is. The election is about the future, not the past. Scheiber's point may have been made in the MeFi thread referenced above, but I'm afraid I lost consciousness after a screen or so.
George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
So, does posting unreported news on mefi decrease the likelihood the corporate media will pick it up? Let's find out. Greg Palast is at it again, but is anybody listening? Former Texas Lt. Governor admits pulling strings to get Dubya into National Guard and then keeping quiet for big-time money.
... now all we need is a "control group" story. Any ideas? Email me.
... now all we need is a "control group" story. Any ideas? Email me.
Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam. "I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people. And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas."
Video available here.
Video available here.
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.]
AP Seeks Release of Bush Military Records Records destroyed? Ah, the other set! ..."Records released so far do not put to rest questions over whether Bush fulfilled his National Guard service for a period during the Vietnam War, the AP argued in papers filed in federal court in New York. Those records came from federal records clearinghouses. Texas law requires separate record keeping for state National Guard service, and those records should exist on microfilm in Austin, the AP said. ..."
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)
That's right, we're offering $10,000 cash! Yours to either spend or invest in job creation. All you have to do is definitively prove that George W. Bush fulfilled his duty to country. Garry Trudeau, like the rest of us, is weary of the "partisan assault on [Geo W's] character," and is taking brave steps to finally end the liberal accusations...
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 and here. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers.
The Soldiers At My Front Door. "I looked out the front window of the house where I live, next door to the church, and there they were--all 75 of them, standing yards away from my front door, in the street right in front of my house and our church, shouting and screaming to the top of their lungs, 'Kill! Kill! Kill!' Their commanders had planted them there and were egging them on." Rev. John Dear, a Jesuit priest and peace activist, describes an encounter with his local National Guard unit.
Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace The Bush administration planned well and won the war with minimal allied casualties. Now, according to interviews with dozens of administration officials, military leaders and independent analysts, missteps in the planning for the subsequent peace could threaten the lives of soldiers and drain U.S. resources indefinitely and cloud the victory itself. Lonely At The Top Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that he hoped to enlist as many as 30,000 troops from 49 nations. The problem, however, is that many of the recruits the Pentagon has tried to line up so far appear to fall into two categories: the not so willing and the not that able. Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty - The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel. Turning and turning in the widening gyre...
Feinstein want national guard to be home defense outfit Let's see. The air lines hired cheap and unskilled workers for security. They lost planes and lots of business. But the GOP doesn't want air carriers to become federalized nor have feds take care of security (too much like Big Govt or socialism.) So instead, we will use tax payer's money and have the National guard do the security work for private concerns and a few public ones. What will the underpaid and/or illegals do for a living? Don't most folks in the Guard have regular jobs and do their thing on weekends? If so, should they give up their jobs for this? or double dip or flip a coin? The Guard was called up in my state. But I was told (I can not verify) that they are not allowed to carry rifles or sidearms while guarding local airports. That makes me feel safer.
One way to get Internet access... just join the Alaska Army National Guard. From the Nome Nugget newspaper article, "Army National Guard leaders have said they want all 350,000 Guardsmen in the U.S. wired to the Internet by 2005 as part of a plan to improve communication and to create a force of 'Cyber Warriors'".
George W. Bush "suspended" from Texas Air National Guard. He repeatedly says he was discharged "honorably", but some government documents seem to say otherwise