Showing posts with label Pentagon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pentagon. Show all posts

Thursday, June 12, 2014

John Boehner is flying right down to see this

The people angry person has spoken.

Did you hear that, Congress?

This is what you call an old-school protest, just like disgruntled would-be activists did it before Al Gore invented the Internets. The scribbled sentiment is near the northwest corner of 72nd and Dodge streets in Omaha, right by the Mall With 7 Stores.

OF COURSE, to get your message out effectively, you might want to pick a location next to a Mall With 100 Stores. You know, one that people actually patronize and isn't scheduled to be torn down this fall.

And, for the record, the doomed Crossroads Mall  has more than seven open stores. It has at least 15 12 10 that are still in there.

Give or take.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ve haff veys to maken zem talk

It's been a long, agonizing process, this losing of our national soul.

AND WHAT ONGOING congressional hearings are bringing to the forefront is the extent to which the American government has summoned the Ghost of Third Reich Past in the name of "preventing another 9/11."

Well, given
what's there for the reading in The Washington Post, Osama bin Laden needn't bother. His wisest course -- when the Bush Administration already is doing a fine job of turning America into Amerika, then bringing the whole enterprise to its knees -- would be to just get the hell out of the way.

To wit:
A senior CIA lawyer advised Pentagon officials about the use of harsh interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo Bay in a meeting in late 2002, defending waterboarding and other methods as permissible despite U.S. and international laws banning torture, according to documents released yesterday by congressional investigators.

Torture "is basically subject to perception," CIA counterterrorism lawyer Jonathan Fredman told a group of military and intelligence officials gathered at the U.S.-run detention camp in Cuba on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes of the meeting. "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong."

The document, one of two dozen released by a Senate panel investigating how Pentagon officials developed the controversial interrogation program introduced at Guantanamo Bay in late 2002, suggests a larger CIA role in advising Defense Department interrogators than was previously known. By the time of the meeting, the CIA already had used waterboarding, which simulates drowning, on at least one terrorism suspect and was holding high-level al-Qaeda detainees in secret prisons overseas -- actions that Bush administration lawyers had approved.
OF COURSE, all this was perfectly legal and ethical. That's why der Gestapo the CIA was so concerned about keeping the Red Cross' nose out of the government's little enterprise.
One of the most explosive memos was the account of the October 2002 Guantanamo Bay meeting in which the CIA's Fredman joined 10 Defense Department officials and lawyers to discuss how to extract better intelligence from detainees there. Fredman, whose agency had been granted broad latitude by Justice Department lawyers to conduct harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, listed key considerations for setting a similar program at the Cuban prison. He discussed the pros and cons of videotaping, talked about how to avoid interference by the International Committee of the Red Cross and offered a strong defense of waterboarding.

"If a well-trained individual is used to perform this technique, it can feel like you're drowning," he said, according to the meeting's minutes, which do not provide a verbatim transcript.

Fredman said medical experts should monitor detainees. "If someone dies while aggressive techniques are being used, regardless of the cause of death, the backlash of attention would be severely detrimental," he was quoted as saying.

CIA spokesman George Little declined to comment on the remarks attributed to Fredman. "The far more important point is the fact that CIA's terrorist interrogation program has operated on the basis of measured, detailed legal guidance from the Department of Justice," he said. "The agency program, which has been carefully reviewed within our government, has disrupted terrorist plots and saved innocent lives."
IF SOMEONE THINKS he is going to die, it's torture. This is not complicated stuff.

And "measured, detailed legal guidance" is no excuse, particularly when all that lawyerin' is designed to help you get away with using Third Reich techniques in defense of "American values" -- which now apparently include both torture and "the ends justify the means."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Pentagon Rag

Come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again

He's got himself in a terrible crack

Way down yonder in ol' I-raq

So put down your books and pick up a gun

We're gonna have a whole lotta fun

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for?

Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop might be I-ran

And it's five, six, seven, call up the collections guy

There ain't no time to wonder why, too bad we didn't die.

(Apologies to Country Joe and the Fish.)

WHERE IS COUNTRY JOE McDONALD, anyway? Particularly when you need him to write a new protest song about the vermin we've put in charge of running things in this country, 40 years after he wrote about the then-vermin we put in charge of running this country.

But I don't know that the old vermin had anything on the new vermin, who are pulling crap
like this:
After two combat tours in Iraq on a "quick reaction team" that picked up body parts after suicide bombings, Donald Schmidt began suffering from nightmares and paranoia. Then he had a nervous breakdown.

The military discharged Schmidt last Oct. 31 for problems they said resulted not from post-traumatic stress disorder but rather from a personality disorder that pre-dated his military service.

Schmidt's mother, Patrice Semtner-Myers, says her son was told that if he agreed to leave the Army he'd get full benefits. Earlier this month, however, they got a bill in the mail from a collection agency working for the government, demanding that he repay his re-enlistment bonus, plus interest — $14,597.72.

Schmidt, 23, who lives near Peoria, Ill., is one of more than 22,000 service members the military has discharged in recent years for "pre-existing personality disorders" it says were missed when they signed up.

"They used these guys up, and now they're done with them and they're throwing them away," Semtner-Myers said.

Her frustration extends to Capitol Hill, where the stage is being set for a confrontation between Congress and the Pentagon.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, calls the treatment of these troops "disgraceful."

"If they have personality disorders, how did they get in the military in the first place?" Filner asks. "You either have taken a kid below the standards, in which case you've got obligations after you send him to war, or you're putting these kids' futures in danger with false diagnoses. Either way it's criminal."

The Pentagon defends its policy.

"No military in the history of the world has done more to identify, evaluate, prevent and treat the mental health needs and concerns of its personnel," Defense Department spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said. All cases of personality disorder discharges are diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, and troops receive some benefits including health care, life insurance and education, she said.

Filner isn't buying it.

"These young people are being lied to and manipulated," he said. "We deny them proper classification so they can't get benefits, then they get this bill for a prorated signing bonus."

In the Senate, Missouri Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond, along with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is leading an effort to force the Pentagon to change its practice. Bond says it appears worse than the scandal earlier this year over poor conditions at Walter Reed hospital.

"This is a very sad story," Bond says. "We are fortunate enough to bring many severely wounded soldiers and Marines home, but we're not dealing with their mental health problems. They need help, not a discharge because some phony pre-existing condition is brought up."
NOT TO MENTION related crap like this:
The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

One of them is Jordan Fox, a young soldier from the South Hills.

He finds solace in the hundreds of boxes he loads onto a truck in Carnegie. In each box is a care package that will be sent to a man or woman serving in Iraq. It was in his name Operation Pittsburgh Pride was started.

Fox was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. He was knocked unconscious. His back was injured and lost all vision in his right eye.

A few months later Fox was sent home. His injuries prohibited him from fulfilling three months of his commitment. A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back.

"I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they're telling me they want their money back," he explained.

It's a slap for Fox's mother, Susan Wardezak, who met with President Bush in Pittsburgh last May. He thanked her for starting Operation Pittsburgh Pride which has sent approximately 4,000 care packages.

He then sent her a letter expressing his concern over her son's injuries, so she cannot understand the U.S. Government's apparent lack of concern over injuries to countless U.S. Soldiers and demands that they return their bonuses.

While he's unsure of his future, Fox says he's unwavering in his commitment to his country.

"I'd do it all over again... because I'm proud of the discipline that I learned. I'm proud to have done something for my country," he said.
I DON'T KNOW what I can say about something this mind-numbingly dishonorable and wicked -- except this: A country that mistreats, uses and abuses those few who have sacrificed so much while so many engage in idle (and idol) pursuits is wholly unworthy of that sacrifice.

Wholly unworthy.

Judgment Day is coming, people. Judgment Day is coming.