Tag Archives: military

Bradley Manning: “I Have a Clear Conscience”

Bradley Manning, the Army private who has been held in custody since May 26, 2010 on suspicion of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks, offered a plea bargain during a pretrial conference on February 28. Manning’s guilty plea to 10 lesser charges included possessing and willfully communicating to an unauthorized person all the main elements of the WikiLeaks disclosure. The UK Guardian reports, “That covered the so-called ‘collateral murder’ video of an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq; some US diplomatic cables including one of the early WikiLeaks publications the Reykjavik cable; portions of the Iraq and Afghanistan warlogs, some of the files on detainees in Guantanamo; and two intelligence memos.
These lesser charges each carry a two-year maximum sentence, committing Manning to a possible upper limit of 20 years in prison.”

An attorney who serves on the steering committee of the Bradley Manning Support Network wrote in an email, “Whether this plea helps him or not is not the critical issue. In fact, the government has already announced that they will be prosecuting him on the aiding the enemy and espionage charges, so it did not stop them from going forward with offenses that could result in life in prison for Manning.”

Reading from a prepared statement, Manning said he was not pressured by WikiLeaks to release the information and that he wanted to give the documents to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Reuters, but they did not want what he had to offer. He also said the leaked information had “upset” or “disturbed” him, but did not contain anything he thought would harm the United States if it became public.

Regarding the Collateral Murder video, Manning said the “most alarming part to me was the seemingly delightful bloodlust,” and that those in the video “seemed to not value human life by referring to them as ‘dead bastards.’”

Manning added, “I was disturbed by the response to injured children… I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan was a target that needed to be engaged and neutralized.” He also said, “I believe that if the general public … had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general,” and “I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”

The attorney also wrote, “Manning obviously put his liberty in jeopardy in an act of conscience for the patriotic reason of trying to improve US foreign policy which has gotten horribly off-track.” The debate regarding “the role of the military and foreign policy” that Bradley Manning hoped to spark, has yet to take place. Hopefully his trial will be the catalyst for that debate.

note: You can see his full statement read in court here. The court has not allowed this to be released to the public, but an unofficial court reporter was able to make a transcript and publish it.

( -)-(- )1 comment

AUDIO: Police intentionally set fire in Dorner seige

Chris Dorner, the Ex-LAPD cop turned revenge-fueled cop killer was allegedly cornered and killed in Big Bear, California on Tuesday evening according to several media reports. In the final moments of the several hour long siege, police ran off media helicopters, only to have them return to witness a cabin on fire.

What took place in those critical moments was captured on audio recorded from police scanners, confirming that the blaze was intentionally set by police.

In a separate recording by a reporter on scene, we can hear police yelling “burn him out” “we’re going to burn him out” and “burn that motherfucker” right before the fire started at the house.

Appalling as it may sound, the events that unfolded in the wake of Dorner’s war against police, we should be wary of individuals who claim the right to be judge, jury and executioner beyond the scope of due process safeguards. Be it a disgruntled ex-cop, or the Judge Dredd wannabes that pursue him, our society suffers when we allow our concept of “justice” to be bent to the militaristic levels that we have witnessed.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Big city military drills becoming “normal” across America

Police and military are conducting scary drills that involve firing blanks in schools and downtown areas. ThinkProgress.com reports, “Students at a high school in Illinois experienced a uniquely terrifying school shooting drill on [January 30]. Instead of conducting a regular school lockdown, Cary-Grove High School administrators simulated gunfire by shooting off blanks in the hallways while students locked their classroom doors, pulled the curtains, and hid.” TV stations in Houston & Miami are reporting of military drills that involved military helicopters and gunfire.

In Miami, “a Black Hawk helicopter flew over the [downtown] area. According to Miami Police, it was part of a military drill, simulating an attack in an urban community. Miami was specifically chosen for the simulation.” WSVN-TV in Miami reported, “Police were unable to disclose specifics about what agencies were involved, but they said the drills were done at night for the public’s safety.” Miami Police Commander Delrish Moss said, “the reason they were done at night, and the reason they were done in the later hours is because we are trying to minimize disruption to traffic, minimize safety concerns.” He also said the drills will continue and cites security concerns as the reason for the secrecy.

The drill in Houston involved several agencies taking over an old high school building. KTRK-TV reported (full video), “There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds.” Frances Jerrals who lives near the area said, “When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst. I felt like I was in a warzone.”

Parents of students from the Cary-Grove High School in suburban Chicago received a letter that read, “These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction.” Protecting children was viewed as a reason for the drills in Houston as well. Glenn DeWitt from Houston said, “If it’s to protect our kids, I’m all for it.”

I’m reminded of the quote from Benjamin Franklin, “those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I certainly don’t like the idea of military and police conducting drills in populated areas and it disturbs me that more people aren’t outraged!

( -)-(- )4 comments

U.S. military spending: less people, more killer robots

At the top of the U.S. budget problem (and tied with Social Security), is the Department of Defense. It is one of the larger of spending programs in the federal budget, raking in over half a trillion per year.

Yet we rarely hear anything about cuts or austerity for the military from the media, who remains focused on lesser value programs.

Well, it turns out the military cuts last year may be a good indicator of things to come this year. From Wired:

About 80,000 Army soldiers and 20,000 Marines are getting downsized. Half of the Army’s conventional combat presence in Europe is packing up and ending its post-Cold War staycation. Replacing them, according to the $613 billion budget previewed by the Pentagon on Thursday: unconventional special-operations forces; new bombers; new spy tools; new missiles for subs; and a veritable Cylon army of drones.

This is the first of the Pentagon’s new, smaller “austerity” budgets: it’s asking Congress for $525 billion (plus $88.4 billion for the Afghanistan war), compared to a $553 billion request (plus $117 billion in war cash) last year. Only the Pentagon is emphasizing (.pdf) what the military is keeping, not what it’s cutting. That’s because congressional Republicans don’t like swallowing these cuts — and really don’t want to acquiesce to a currently-scheduled law that could tack on another $600 billion-plus to the already-scheduled, decade-long $487 billion in cuts. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is preempting the objections, promising a force that’s “smaller and leaner, but agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced.”

That means no changes to the U.S. fleet of 11 aircraft carriers and 10 air wings, all reflecting the Obama administration’s emphasis on the western Pacific. It means leaving the nuclear triad — the bombers, subs and missiles that can end all life on earth — alone. (With one exception: the military will delay replacing the Ohio-class submarine by two years.) It means electronic weapons to jam enemy defenses and attack online networks. It means elite commando forces like the ones who just rescued two aid workers kidnapped in Somalia. And it means drones for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

If the past choices by the DoD are any indication of what’s in store for the FY2014 budget (factoring in the most recent fiscal cliff crisis). We’re going to see even further cuts to human personnel, but greater spending on drones, weaponry and technology.

We’re arming robots to the teeth, and de-emphasizing the humans who are supposed to be in charge of them, moving us one step closer to a dystopian future run by Skynet.

But rest assured, while Congress and Obama may be proposing hilariously small cuts to military spending, the average voter is far more rational.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

No peace in the Middle East (until all sides want it)

The conflicts between Israel and Palestine have been going on for such a long time, it’s difficult to know when one conflict stops and another one starts. The latest exchange of missile fire is no exception.

Operation Pillar of Cloud (or Pillar of Defense, depending on what report you read) officially began on November 14 “after Gaza militants fired over 100 rockets at Israeli cities and towns over the course of several days.” However, if one looks closer, they will see that both sides were involved in the aggression. Palestinian’s in Gaza were being shot by the Israeli military, Palestinian’s then detonated explosives near the Israeli military. On November 8, the Israeli military clashed with Hamas and during the raid a 12 year old Palestinian boy was killed by gunfire coming either from a tank or helicopter. The two sides exchanged fire for several days and then Hamas reportedly fired over 100 rockets into Israel on November 10.

There were supposedly talks of a cease-fire on November 12, which the Israeli military claims was broken after a dozen rockets were fired from Gaza. Responsibility for those launches was “claimed by smaller groups, including a radical Salafi organization that rejects Hamas’s authority.”

On November 12, Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com wrote, “The reality is that Gaza poses no real ‘threat’ to Israel. Even before getting the US to pump money into their Iron Dome system the rockets rarely hit anything, and if they did the glorified fireworks in the Gaza arsenal usually did minor damage to someone’s roof at worst. In addition to being the impetus behind more US aid, Gaza is also a chance for Israeli hawks to grandstand. A prolonged Gaza armistice would imperil that policy.”

I believe the Israeli’s knew this, which is why they assassinated Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari just hours after he received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel. John Glaser of AntiWar.com writes, “Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit and maintained contacts with Hamas leaders, said the truce agreement included protocols for maintaining a cease-fire in the case of cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza.”

Baskin told Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper that provides “coverage of Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East”, that senior officials in Israel knew about the pending truce agreement, yet approved of the assassination, knowing it would terminate the truce and escalate the conflict with Gaza.

Baskin said, “I think that they have made a strategic mistake, which will cost the lives of quite a number of innocent people on both sides.” In less than a week, nearly 50 Palestinians (mostly civilians) have been killed and hundreds injured; 3 Israeli civilians and no military combatants have been killed.. Baskin added that Jabari’s assassination “killed the possibility of achieving a truce.”

I agree that it was a mistake to assassinate the man with whom a cease-fire was being negotiated and agree with Ann Harrison, the Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme for Amnesty International, who said, “All sides have to step back from the brink in order to protect civilian lives.”

( -)-(- )1 comment

Why I will no longer fly the Stars and Stripes

Fellow veterans, patriots and others

I went out this morning to display the Stars and Stripes as I have done for years to honor my fellow veterans on Veterans Day. I have always flown the flag during our holidays and special occasions. It has, in the past, been an honor to do so.

I did place the flag in its proper place and then returned to my house. After a few moments of thought and discussion with family members I returned and took the flag down. It will not be flown by me as long as this country remains a statist socialist nation.

I will not participate in the sham that has been perpetuated on us by one-half of those who voted for the socialist/Marxist in the White house. The first time they could be forgiven but this time they knew exactly what they were doing.

May the Maker of the Universe guide those who want God & family values, Constitutional restoration, individual liberty, limited government, free market economics, private property rights and a strong national defense (not nation building) to take action to do so. I am now a passive resistor. Will you join me? If not, then you are the problem, not the solution.

Vietnam Veteran
Combat Tracker Teams of the Vietnam War
Army Infantry

P.S. – I will never forget them. May God bless them all.

May all of them rest in peace and be with God.

( -)-(- )1 comment

A war-criminal resigns… because of an affair?

President Obama became the first President since FDR to win re-election by a smaller margin than his initial election (Obama receive 8 million fewer votes and 33 fewer Electoral Votes in 2012 than 2008). I was not surprised by his reelection or the fact that he was reelected by a smaller margin than his 2008 victory. I did find it surprising that within days of his reelection, the White House received a letter of resignation from CIA Director David Petraeus.

Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com writes, “The timing of the resignation is also telling, as indications are this FBI investigation has been ongoing for quite some time, but the resignation waited until immediately after the presidential election. President Obama has been a vocal supporter of Petraeus in numerous roles, and the revelation that he appointed a leader of the nation’s most visible spy agency who couldn’t even keep an affair under wraps would certainly have been politically damaging if it came out before the vote.”

In addition to Petraeus, Hillary Clinton announced that she will be stepping down as Secretary of State. Even though Clinton has been upfront about her intentions to only serve as Secretary of State for one term, the timing of this latest announcement seems rather convenient. In mid-October, she took responsibility for the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of this year. Military officials insist Petraeus’ resignation has nothing to do with Benghazi, his sudden resignation means that he will no longer be required to testify before Congress about the debacle.

Regarding the Benghazi attack, Clinton said, “I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again, and then we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”

Based on information obtained by AntiWar.com, local police were seen taking pictures inside the embassy, a small British security firm was hired to guard the consulate and some of the “security team” team assigned to guard the compound showed the rioters where the Americans were located. Blue Mountain Security told their unarmed guards “to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack.”

Justin Raimondo asks, “Unarmed ‘security’ guards — who ever heard of that? How the heck did Blue Mountain get this contract?” After going into detail on how Blue Mountain got the contract, Raimondo concludes, “The whole arrangement screams setup.”

I’m not saying that war-criminal David Petraeus was involved in this debacle, but it is very “coincidental” that he resigned days after the election and just days before being required to testify before Congress.

“There are no coincidences, only the illusion of coincidence” – V, V for Vendetta

( -)-(- )1 comment

U.S. troops in Afghanistan won’t be able to vote

Due to a plane carrying mail crashing and burning up:

Federal officials say that absentee ballots being sent to U.S. military serving in Afghanistan may have been burned in a plane crash.

A top official in the Federal Voting Assistance Program this week notified election officials across the nation that a transport plane crashed at Shindad Air Base on Oct. 19.

The crash resulted in the destruction of 4,700 pounds of mail inbound to troops serving in the area.

Federal officials in their email to state election offices said they did not know if any ballots were destroyed. They also said the lost mail was limited to one zip code.

But they recommended that election officials resend a new ballot to anyone who requested one since the first ballot may have been destroyed in the crash and fire.

The extent of this “limited to one zip code” nonsense could be a red herring as according to an alert the zip code in question is an air base in Afghanistan:

According to an alert received by the Bexar County Elections Department from military voting assistance officials, the crash of the transport plane at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan destroyed the aircraft and the 4,700 pounds of mail it was delivering to the combat zone.

Military officials weren’t immediately sure if it was carrying ballots, so they issued the nationwide call to local election officials to see if they may have sent ballots to a ZIP code serving three installations in Afghanistan — Camps Shindand, Farah and Stone, also called Herat.

“If you have sent any ballots to the ZIP code 09382, we recommend you attempt to contact the voter and resend a new ballot, as the first ballot may have been destroyed in the crash and fire,” the alert said.

I suspect it will be nigh impossible to get replacement ballots printed/mailed in time (or local boards of elections to even be notified of the situation), so it’s safe to say a large contingent of troops serving in Afghanistan will not have their votes counted in this very contentious election.

( -)-(- )3 comments

The hard truth about the Afghanistan war

You will be reading the hard truth about the Afghanistan war. This is the news you will not get from the Mainstream Media or Fox News. Brace yourself.

Michael Yon is most likely the most knowledgeable and experienced journalist who has reported on military combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He remained imbedded with direct combat troops and special operations teams for years, since the beginning of our adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is reporting the truth which is now causing him problems with our politicians who parade around in their high ranking military uniforms and kiss the rings of the establishment Washington rulers.

Michael Yon is one person away from me. He is a friend of a very good friend of mine who retired from the Army Special Forces. Michael Yon is well qualified to report what is reality in war because he has been there as a former Army Special Forces soldier and as an imbedded internet blogger, reporter and journalist with the toughest of the tough in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Hopefully you understand what he is trying to tell us. I do because I have been there in a different disgusting political war, Vietnam.

He has experienced more combat in the past 11 years than the majority of soldiers and has lived to write about it.

What he is writing is a long read so get yourself a cup of coffee, beer or glass of wine and be prepared for the hard hitting truth. Many of us old Vietnam combat veterans fully understand exactly what he is saying as the canary in the coal mine.

It is undeniable our political generals and their allies in the Washington cesspool have totally screwed up both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences for generations to come. This is just more of the incompetence and corruption that President Eisenhower warned us about, the military/industrial complex.

Click here for the truth about Afghanistan: ALL THE KINGS HORSES

Remember, it is not the rank and file military responsible for this, it is the political generals, appointed bureaucrats and the elected politicians who must take responsibility for what they have managed to do to the Afghanistan and Iraqi people and to us as American citizens.

( -)-(- )Comments Off