Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
I’ve said before that I generally have little use for most of what comes out of Hollywood but there are rare exceptions and “Wag The Dog” is one of those exceptions & for the same reason that allows “Idiocracy” to make the cut…it is some of the best fictional “truth” that’s out there. As I’ve been feeling the rumble of the War Pigs’ drums getting steadily louder and louder lately, this movie has come to mind more than once. Ordinarily it is easy to tell where the spark will ignite but right now, there is too much noise in the wind to look just in one direction.
I ask myself over and over…is any of it even REAL? Does N. Korea really want to blast us into oblivion? If so…why…and I mean, really WHY, not the Faux or CoNN news scare versions of why, thanks. If they don’t really want to attack us, how would ‘We The Peons’ know that? Or…maybe it’s Syria that wants to take us out..? Oh but wait…I saw mention about how going to war with China would be a bad thing…so maybe it’s them we should fear?? And of course, we cannot forget those scary folks down in Mali who…well, I don’t know what their beef is exactly, but by gawd…America will be there, standing strong!!!
I know I did not list all of the places our government is currently chest-thumping with but it still makes the point…there is too much being thrown out too quickly – and without full background, details or key information so that the average citizen has no damned idea what is going on and what, if any, real threats there are. So much of what I’ve been seeing reads like propaganda and rhetoric…but is it? How can I be certain? Are we intentionally being spun about in all directions so that when something does finally trigger even more massive scale war, we will be so confused as to believe anything our ‘protectors’ tell us?
How nice to get a full video demonstration of the newly retrofitted ‘light armored’ tanks ready for deployment in New Mexico and W. Texas…yippeefreakingkayay!
Welcome to the Wild West, DHS style…
The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted
2,717* of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States. *An earlier version of this post included a figure of over 2,700 vehicles, as cited from the original RT link. This figure likely comes from a press release from Navistar Defense, mentioning delivery of 2,717 to the U.S. Marine Corps. A DHS Spokesman confirmed with Business Insider that they have only 16 nationwide.
For those of you who may be wondering…yes, I absolutely feel 100% safe and secure living here now that I know DHS is so well equipped as to be able to pluck us off the roadways (while not even having to worry about those pesky street mines!) as they drive…
…Oh…and if you actually believe me? Well…I’ve got some nice ocean front property for sale, too..!
This is…well…unnerving…and chilling.
(May 2012) Military assault demonstrations at the ISOF 2012 conference in Tampa bay, Florida. The participating SOF teams came from 10 allied nations: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and included American SEALs, Green Berets, Air Force Combat Controllers, and US Marines. This year ISOF’s theme is “Building the Global SOF Partnership.” This is composed of mutually supporting partners working to identify and preemptively address problems, and helping to defeat the appeal of violent extremism.
So…you want a revolution, eh? Pissed off…fed up…you know bad things are going bump in the night but don’t know which way to turn for help when officers are murdering people – and pets – all over the place. Your government representatives have gone deaf and blind. Your online activity is not only not private, but can and will be used against you in court…doors are getting bashed in, your milk is no longer legal, your neighbors can vanish and be indefinitely detained & families are being terrorized by armed and masked SWAT men in the middle of the night…
It is time to do something…NOW!!
Enough is enough!! Our founding fathers would not have stood for this and neither should we!!
The time for a revolution is at hand…!
No one can deny that we are in dire straits both as a nation and as part of the global community of human beings…things are not good and changes absolutely must be made before we all end up in darker times and conditions than most of us could ever dream of living in – or even surviving. But…since it is premature to jump into a revolution…and it is obvious that we cannot continue on the path we’re on without serious negative consequences, where does that leave us?
I wish I could drop a big, happy rainbow here and say that there is no reason to worry, our leaders will all come to their senses soon and everything will be hunky-dory. I’d be a liar if I did. I honestly don’t think that things are going to be “okay” in the sense that we want for a long time to come still. The price of…everything…has risen so it seems. It’s not actually that prices are any higher – it’s that the dollar is lower, worth less…bottom line either way is that you get fewer items for more Monopoly Money than ever before. There is no denying the rise of the police state and ever tightening laws that are strangling us on every level from personal to business. The war machine is rolling over countries left, right and sideways; it is the Hexxus of Fern Gully, out of control and oozing death and destruction everywhere it goes. We find it acceptable to imprison citizens in order to satisfy corpo-political pigs and keep them all feeding at the trough of profit via human slavery…
But behind each name there is the face of a child with a family history in a village in a far away country, with a mom and a dad, with brothers and sisters and friends.
Among the list, are infants of 1, 2, 3 and 4 years old.
“The UFP concept centers on developing deployable, unmanned, distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years at a time. These deep-sea nodes would then be woken up remotely when needed and recalled to the surface. In other words, they “fall upward.”
As with most projects DARPA manages, this one leaves me feeling uneasy and not trusting that this technology will not be used as a weapon or cause harm…
DARPA already intends to set a drone ship out to sea, and now it’s revealed plans for undersea payloads that lie dormant for years and launch themselves to the surface when remotely commanded. Dubbed Upward Falling Payloads, the containers will carry non-lethal cargo such as small UAVs or networking hardware, and take advantage of the “cheap stealth” their position underwater grants them. Article Here
Today, cost and complexity limit the Navy to fewer weapons systems and platforms, so resources are strained to operate over vast maritime areas. Unmanned systems and sensors are commonly envisioned to fill coverage gaps and deliver action at a distance. However, for all of the advances in sensing, autonomy, and unmanned platforms in recent years, the usefulness of such technology becomes academic when faced with the question, “How do you get the systems there?” DARPA’s Upward Falling Payloads program seeks to address that challenge.
The UFP concept centers on developing deployable, unmanned, distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years at a time. These deep-sea nodes would then be woken up remotely when needed and recalled to the surface. In other words, they “fall upward.”
“The goal is to support the Navy with distributed technologies anywhere, anytime over large maritime areas. If we can do this rapidly, we can get close to the areas we need to affect, or become widely distributed without delay,” said Andy Coon, DARPA program manager. “To make this work, we need to address technical challenges like extended survival of nodes under extreme ocean pressure, communications to wake-up the nodes after years of sleep, and efficient launch of payloads to the surface.”
A proposer’s day is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2013, in the DARPA Conference Center. For details, visit:
DARPA seeks proposals in three key areas for developing the program: Communications, deep ocean ‘risers’ to contain the payloads, and the actual payloads. DARPA hopes to reach technical communities that conduct deep-ocean engineering from the telecom and oil-exploration industry to the scientific community with insights into signal propagation in the water and on the seafloor. Since the program will emphasize the use of ambient pressure containment with its risers, there is no need for specialization of payloads to accommodate the extreme pressures of the deep sea. Communities with technical background in unmanned platforms; distributed sensors; networking; sensor packaging; information operations; electronic warfare; anti-submarine warfare, etc. may all be able to play a role.
Almost half of the world’s oceans are more than four kilometers deep. This provides considerable opportunity for cheap stealth. The vastness and depth make retrieval costs prohibitive. Despite this, the UFP program is specifically not a weapons program, and the risks to losing any single node will be minimal.
Depending on the specific payload, systems would provide a range of non-lethal but useful capabilities such as situational awareness, disruption, deception, networking, rescue, or any other mission that benefits from being pre-distributed and hidden. An example class of systems might be small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that launch to the surface in capsules, take off and provide aerial situational awareness, networking or decoy functions. Waterborne applications are sought as well.
“We are simply offering an alternative path to realize these missions without requiring legacy ships and aircraft to launch the technology, and without growing the reach and complexity of unmanned platforms,” said Coon.
The DARPA broad agency announcement describing the specific capabilities sought is available at
Last year, IBM’s Watson, an artificial intelligence, understood natural language well enough to whip the human champion Ken Jennings on Jeopardy. As we write this, soldiers with bionic limbs are returning to active duty, and autonomous cars are driving down our streets. Yet most of these advances are small in comparison with the great leap forward currently under way in the biosciences—a leap with consequences we’ve only begun to imagine…
Excerpt from Politico – “The pending sale of a major American gene-mapping company to a Chinese firm is sparking yet another dust-up over what sensitive industries the rising Asian power ought to be allowed to dominate in the United States.
A key question — as it has been with Chinese involvement in aviation, cloud computing and telecom hardware — is whether there are national security concerns attached to allowing a company largely funded by the Chinese government to have access to human DNA being decoded for doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies.”
Is this a legitimate concern…or a red-herring argument designed to keep the average American feeling threatened by our (rather sudden) Chinese ‘competition’.
When I was a kid, we were told that the Russians wanted to nuke us all and steal our Levis…and well, we all know how true THAT turned out to be. Every one of the current news stories I read about China seem to have the same theme and feel to me…”Evil foreigners want your freedom, your life, your Starbucks, your Levis…your DNA… “
More from Politico - “A technical adviser to both Complete Genomics and BGI Shenzhen who supports the transaction suggested that raising the specter of terrorism and exploiting the national appetite for China-bashing is a cover for Illumina’s real motive — to buy Complete and achieve market domination for itself.
“They want to destabilize this field,” said genetics pioneer George Church, director of the Center on Bioenergy at Harvard & MIT and the National Institutes of Health’s Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard. “They do not want that kind of competition. If I were Illumina, I might do the same thing. But this is a beautiful illustration of why our politicians and CEOs should be a lot more educated about technology.”
With insanity spreading and riots raging around the world, I want a candidate with a rational mind and a heart of peace leading this country for a change. Gary Johnson IS that man. No fear-mongering, no desire to expand our war-mongering ways.
I want a leader capable of representing the citizens of this country rather than the lobbyists of this country. I truly believe that Johnson is the only candidate who will hold the best interests of this nation as a whole above the interests of the War-Pig lobbyist groups. His desire is to bring our troops home and place our money where it is most needed and can do the most good – right here in the USA.
“Republicans are Thelma. The Democrats are Louise. Together they are taking our nation over a cliff. We have a President and a majority in Congress who insist on endless war. But a majority of Americans are insisting on Peace. As our President, I will end the wars and bring our men and women home — where we will rebuild and renew our broken nation together.
We the People will have PEACE.“
“Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government’s responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years.
Given trillion-dollar deficits, America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests. There is nation-building and rebuilding to be done right here at home.
Our military should remain the most potent force for good on Earth. To do this, we should resort to military action as the last option and only as provided in the Constitution.” ~Gary Johnson~
His common sense is highlighted here in this outstanding article on All Voices Sept. 13th, 2012
”Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who served two terms as New Mexico governor and currently has more executive-level experience in government than Romney and Obama combined, on Thursday released a statement about the tragedy.
Johnson had no time for petty partisan jabs and blame games; he was too busy asking an important question that neither Romney nor the president seem to be capable of asking: Does it serve our national interest to be in places where we are not wanted, not appreciated and targeted for violence by American-hating extremists?
Johnson’s statement read, in part:
It is tragic when Americans serving their country are murdered, and we both mourn their loss and honor their service.
Part of honoring that service is to ask the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people – and our money – in places where U.S. personnel can be killed by extremists over a video?
Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders’ most basic responsibility. But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served.
As Romney spews nonsense about Obama standing by a statement that sympathized with the killers, his words are all the more reason for voters unsatisfied with the choice between the two major party candidates to take a long, hard look at their alternatives. By any reasonable standard, Johnson represents the best alternative a non-major party has had to offer since former President Teddy Roosevelt ran on the Bull Moose ticket in 1912…”
The video below is a short and very powerful film about the darker side of life inside that which we call ‘civilization’. I wonder how we can consider ourselves civilized when our lives are so permeated with death, violence & destruction? Is it civilized to stomp out any and all life forms that happen to either provide something we need or stand in the way of the things we want?
Are we truly enlightened beings if we are willing to obliterate any culture or way of life that is not the same as ours? I don’t think we really are. We say we have ‘advanced’ as a species but is this REALLY true? Would beings who have truly advanced be willing to live inside a bubble that enslaves them? Enslaves others?
Most importantly, would advanced and knowledgeable beings continue to build, live inside of and participate in a system that guarantees their own destruction and the destruction of their entire life support? Doesn’t it seem odd that this is exactly what we do? We act more like spoiled children – taking, taking, taking and throwing temper tantrums & lashing out at anyone who dares to take our toys – than any kind of being with enlightened or advanced way of thinking/acting. What are we going to do when we’ve not only broken all of the ‘toys’ but completely obliterated the toy factory as well?
While I don’t believe in climate change the way it is being sold to us right now, to deny that we are not doing irrevocable damage to every part of this earth is both naive and dangerous. Just as we cannot cure our diseases with medicines that cause even more illness and disease, we cannot continue to mend the damage of technology and machines by creating still more machines and technology. Spraying pollutants into the sky which interfere with our weather patterns in the name of saving us from ‘climate change’ (re: changing weather patterns) is insanity, pure and simple. And yet, that is exactly what we do…
So when will enough be enough?
Would you defend your children from harm? If so, then isn’t preventing them from living on a destroyed and desolate planet filled with hunger and hardship, defending them from harm?
What lengths would you be willing to go to in order to preserve ALL life and leave it intact for future generations?
Have YOU reached your Fuck-It Point?
Interesting to know that the Department of Defense routinely gives weapons and assorted tactical gear to small or local law enforcement agencies ‘for cheap or free’ (free for them maybe because I am sure we taxpayers were originally billed far above top dollar for the equipment!). We’re not talking a token gift here and there, we’re talking about a program that operates to the tune of over $2 billion last year. If rumors are true and some agencies like the Penal County Sheriff’s Office has been stockpiling the weapons to sell for profit then I have to wonder why on earth the DoD just didn’t sell the equipment themselves and apply the ‘profit’ towards their own budget?
They supply free or cheap toilet paper to LEO agencies…why? Is there an abundance of TP at the Pentagon…and if for some bizarre reason there really does happen to be an excess of toilet paper…why not then at least donate it some slightly more worthy cause like say…a homeless shelter?
Aside from the money-burning aspect of the program, I have to wonder why small law enforcement agencies have need for Humvees and super-duper high-tech tactical equipment. How many of the 800+ agencies in Illinois actually have cause and use for civilian tanks? Why the need to provide military equipment for patrolling Small Town America, I wonder? Are they gearing up on a rash of children’s lemonade stands…? Or could they be gearing up to combat them packs of wild-eyed stoners who uh…sit at home and read, create or just mind their own business?
It’s senseless on every level…
“The Defense Department has stopped issuing weapons to thousands of law enforcement agencies until it is satisfied that state officials can account for all the surplus guns, aircraft, Humvees and armored personnel carriers it has given police under a $2.6 billion program, The Associated Press has learned.
The department’s Defense Logistics Agency ordered state-appointed coordinators in 49 states to certify the whereabouts of that equipment that has already been distributed through the long-running arrangement overseen by the agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office. The temporary halt on transferring weapons applies to all states, agency officials said Thursday.
The program provides police departments and other law enforcement agencies with military equipment ranging from guns and helicopters to computers and air conditioners and even toilet paper. The equipment is cheap or free for law enforcement agencies to acquire, but much of it comes with strict rules that prohibit it from being sold and dictate how it must be tracked…
…The Arizona Republic reported last month that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has stockpiled millions of dollars’ worth of equipment through the program, distributing some of the gear to non-police agencies, and intended to sell other property, which would violate the program’s rules.
“I don’t have any info on if something triggered” the Defense Department’s recent order, Matt Van Camp, a police detective in Payson, Ariz., who coordinates that state’s program, told the AP in an email. “All I know is Arizona is 100 percent compliant on weapons inventory.”
A report in March by California Watch, which was founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting, found that California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the program’s two-decade history. That follows the overall trend in the program, which last year doled out almost $500 million in gear, up by more than double from the year before…
…The surplus program has grown exponentially in recent years, with a record $498 million worth of property distributed in fiscal year 2011. That includes $191 million in aircraft alone and more than 15,000 weapons worth nearly $4.8 million. Military officials said the program has become more popular as law enforcement agencies sustain deep budget cuts…”
Read Full Story Here On Officer.Com
Since the ‘Powers That Be’ recently gave themselves the green-light on the use of drones in the US, one has to wonder who might be profiting from the newly enlarged ‘drone industry’…not to mention, who is using the drones – and for what purposes, exactly?
As with most of our new technological capabilities, the potential for abuse seems rather great. I personally wouldn’t trust my government to watch my cat and I certainly want no part of them watching ME. Beyond that, I don’t want any corporation to be trusted as responsible enough to be operating drones over my head…and seriously, there is no reason on earth for the local university to be screwing around testing these things over our community.
Excerpts from Daily Mail UK – “There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.
The unmanned planes – some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects – are being launched from locations in 20 states.
Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority…”
“...But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.
It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology…
…The FAA has confirmed that there were about 300 active COAs and that the agency has issued about 700-750 authorizations since the program began in 2006.
But this information does not reveal how many are owned, for example, by Miami Dade Police Department…”
So, who owns drones and how close might they be to YOU?
Read the full article on Daily Mail UK to find out.
I was disturbed to see names of institutions in close proximity to my own home on the list…*shudders*
New Mexico State University Physical Sciences Laboratory (NMSU-PSL)
New Mexico Tech
**The maps in the original Daily Mail UK are very interesting and it’s well worth the time to click over and take a look at them in full size.**
Read more: Daily Mail UK
From Republic Report
“McKeon is Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and received $339,000 from the defense industry himself in 2010, so it’s reasonable to suspect that arms manufacturers and others are donating to his wife’s state race in order to please him.
Now, it appears that these donations are paying off. This morning at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., Rep. McKeon delivered a “Special Address” for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International(AUVSI), a drone industry lobbying organization. Republic Report gained access to the event — which hosted hundreds of attendees from the unmanned aerial systems industry, including military drone manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Well, well, well…what a complete and total shocker, eh? It seems there has been some underhanded & financial misdeeds going on in the Afghan National Police (ANP) contract; according to a report by the Department of Defense Inspector General a neat little contract was not awarded in accordance with DoD guidelines – and millions of dollars seem to have been wasted with no accountability or repercussions for those involved in this mess. It has been ‘recommended’ that no further expense or money-costing changes be made to the contract without approval…
Uh-huh. I see. A contract is illegally awarded to a private security firm, upgrades and additional changes are made just 2 months later resulting in millions of dollars being spent above and beyond what was in the initial contract…and the only recommendation being made is that various department heads of military and foreign coalitions just please ask next time before they pull more money from taxpayers? Suhweet deal, isn’t it? I do hope you appreciate a nice screwing without the foreplay or lube because that is exactly what we’ve gotten out of this latest fiasco in our effort to ‘rebuild’ Afghanistan.
Oh! That the name DynCorp is involved in the contract and ended up pulling quite a tidy profit from the job should come as no real surprise, should it? Just business as usual folks, nothing to see here a’tall…(Emphasis throughout the report excerpts is mine.)
Full Report on PDF Available Here – “Army contracting officials at Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) did not appropriately award and administer the ANP contract in accordance with Federal and DoD guidance. Combined Security Transition CommandAfghanistan (CSTC-A) personnel made substantial changes to the statement of work immediately after contract award and the contractor more than doubled the size and cost of its program management office. CSTC-A, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, and Army contracting officials did not adequately define contract requirements or identify that the contractor omitted key program office positions from its proposal during the source selection process. As a result, the cost of the ANP contract increased by $145.3 million in the first 4 months of the contractor’s performance and contractor officials still had not reached the staffing levels required in the contract at the time of our review…”
The report goes on to state -
“The increased costs of $16.1 million for additional program management personnel may have resulted in the Government not receiving the best value. Several offerors were found to be technically capable of filling the ANP contract requirements, and as a result, the contract was awarded based on the lowest proposed cost. In modification 005 to the contract, the contractor added 44 personnel to their Continue reading
Published on Monday, May 21, 2012 by Common Dreams “As part of NATO’s planned multi-year and multi-billion dollar investment in an increased global surveillance capability, building what it calls an ‘Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS)’ system, the 28-nation military alliance penned a deal with defense contractor Northrop Grumman on Sunday for a fleet of unmanned aerial drones along with the requisite command and control base stations needed to operate them…
The signing of the deal took place between Northrup executives and NATO officials in a quiet room away from the boisterous street protests taking place outside the NATO summit on the streets of Chicago, where citizens voiced their opposition to NATO’s continued military presence in Afghanistan and it’s increasingly violent role in world affairs in recent years.
NATO has relied heavily on the use of drones owned and operated by the United States in its recent military operations in Afghanistan and in Libya, but this acquisition will allow it to have a vast capability all its own. The system will cost close to $1.7 billion dollars, with billions more needed to maintain and operate the system over the next two decades.” Read Full Story Here
“We don’t need a war, we need a pageant…”
“Why not Albania? Who the fuck knows from Albania? They wanna destroy our way of life…”
Apparently it goes where ever the hell DoD decides it should…
Who are we mere debt mules to question the great & wise (corporate owned) congressional budget committees?
What kind of legacy are we living future generations if we continue to spend beyond our means in both dollars and human lives in order & continue to feed the profiteering war mongers?
“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together…”
Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
In January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stated: “This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path – where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitude towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation’s grim financial outlook.”
(Wiki) The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) was unable to provide an audit opinion on the 2010 (and 2011) financial statements of the US Government because of ‘widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations’. The GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion ‘serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable’.
Chief Financial Officer and Under Secretary of Defense Robert F. Hale acknowledged enterprise-wide problems with systems and processes, while the DoD’s Inspector General reported ‘material internal control weaknesses … that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention and identification of fraud, waste, and abuse‘. Further management discussion in the FY 2010 DoD Financial Report states ‘it is not feasible to deploy a vast number of accountants to manually reconcile our books’ and concludes that ‘although the financial statements are not auditable for FY 2010, the Department’s financial managers are meeting warfighter needs’.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Speaking about meeting of NATO defense minsters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 2, 2012:
”It was important to make clear to our European allies that even as our posture there evolves, we remain committed to NATO – the most successful military alliance in history – and we’ll continue to maintain an innovative, robust, and visible presence in Europe. As part of that robust presence, I told our allies that we will soon begin rotating a battalion-sized task force to Germany for exercises and training, as part of the rapidly deployable NATO Response Force, and we will also establish an aviation detachment in Poland to provide better training opportunities. We are also moving ahead with European missile defense – establishing land-based SM-3 missile sites in Romania and Poland, deploying Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships to Spain, and a radar in Turkey.”
Now is a time for every NATO nation to make the most of the fiscal and security challenges we face to become more united as an Alliance and to strengthen our collective capabilities through such initiatives as Smart Defense. We took a big step forward on this front with an agreement to fund the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – consisting of five Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles and a ground control station. AGS has been in the works for many years, and is the first ISR capability NATO has ever purchased as a pooled resource.
A Unified Combatant Command is a single force composed of personnel and equipment
from at least two Military Departments, which has a broad and continuing mission.
The United States currently has 9 Combatant Commands:
U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)
U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)
U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)
U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)
U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM)
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)
U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)
U.S. Africa command received $274 million in Fiscal Year 2010.
The Obama administration has requested $298 million for the command for Fiscal Year 2011.
AFRICOM Mission: Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development.
Washington Times 2-6-2012 - “They train host nation’s forces, and include units from each service, such as the Green Berets, who specialize in irregular warfare and work in small teams no larger than 12. The Green Berets also build roads, schools, provide health care and live among locals, speaking their language.”
Why is it that at a time when America can barely keep her own economy afloat, we have officials who are continuing to make costly promises of a long-term international nature? I don’t see how or why it is our job to, “build a Europe” as Mrs. Clinton recently stated or why we should be looking towards spending more and more money on ‘important conflicts’ in every far-flung corner of the earth.
It will not matter what type of ‘global agenda’ we choose to ‘vigorously promote’ if we fail as a country and fall to an even lower level of financial recession or depression. Our leaders seem to be hell-bent on digging us into a (global) hole that we are going to end up burying ourselves in – and We The People seem content to just allow them to do it.
After reading the speeches given by Leon Panetta and Hilary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more of our young men and women are they planning on sending off to die in the name of ‘common interest’ with our global allies? If our leaders really wanted to cut defense spending, not to mention save lives, would they really be using phrases like, “innovative rotational deployments”..?
February 04, 2012
Remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
& Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
48th Munich Security Conference, Bayerischer Hof, Munich, Germany
Excerpts- Leon Panetta:
“There is still a war in Afghanistan. We confront the threat of terrorism, nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, turmoil in the Middle East, rising powers, cyber attacks. We designed a strategy to deal with these threats.
Let me summarize the key elements of the new U.S. defense strategy. First, the United States military will be smaller and we will be leaner. That was something, frankly, that was going to happen under any circumstances by virtue of the drawdown that we were involved in. But what we wanted to stress was a force that would be agile, that would be flexible, that would be rapidly deployable, and that would be technologically advanced. It must be a cutting edge force for the future.
Second, we will enhance our presence in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, where we see the greatest challenges and the greatest opportunities in the 21st century. Third, we will maintain a robust presence in Europe and elsewhere in the world by investing in existing alliances, by helping to make them stronger, by developing new partnerships, and by developing new innovative rotational deployments that will give us the capability to have a presence not only in Europe, but in Africa and Latin America and elsewhere.
Fourth, we will ensure that we can quickly confront and defeat aggression from any adversary, any time, any place. It is essential that we have the capability to deal with more than one adversary at a time, and we believe we have shaped a force that will give us that capability.
And fifth, we will protect and prioritize key investments – key investments in technology and new capabilities from special operations forces to cyber and space and unmanned systems, as well as our capacity to surge, adapt and grow as needed…
…Let me lay out how we intend to strengthen transatlantic security cooperation by describing what European allies and partners can expect from the United States and our new defense strategy. First, we will focus on the most pressing security challenges by investing in ballistic missile defense capability for Europe in response to the emerging threats beyond Europe.
As part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach and NATO’s missile defense capability, we have established a radar system in Turkey. We will be stationing SM-3 missiles in Romania and Poland. And we will deploy four BMD – ballistic missile defense-capable ships, Aegis ships to Rota, Spain. President Obama has made clear that the United States is firmly committed to building a missile defense system in Europe. The new defense strategy and our budget priorities reflect that commitment.
Second, we will invest in shared capabilities that will ensure NATO remains the strongest and most capable military alliance on earth. To address intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance shortfalls, some of which the Libya operation exposed, NATO has agreed as of yesterday to fund the new Alliance Ground Surveillance system.
I want to thank the secretary general and all of my fellow defense ministers in NATO for having made that very important decision, that is in many ways the foundation of smart defense. For that reason, we in the United States have protected funding for AGS in our new defense budget.
Safeguarding critical capabilities was a core objective of our budget and strategy review of the United States, and it is important that we send a strong message that we remain committed to this system and bolstering NATO’s cutting edge capabilities…
…Today, I can announce that the United States will make a new commitment to the security of our NATO partners by reinvigorating our contribution to the NATO Response Force that we value so much. The NRF was designed to be an agile, rapidly deployable, multinational force that can respond to crises when and where necessary. The United States had endorsed the NRF but has not made a tangible contribution due to the demands of the wars – until now.
In the coming months, we will identify a U.S.-based brigade from which we will provide the United States land force contribution to the NATO Response Force, and we will rotate a battalion-sized task-force to Germany for exercises and training. Not only will this open up new opportunities for U.S. troops to train and exercise with our European counterparts, it will ensure NATO has the capability to conduct expeditionary operations in defense of our common interests…”
Second, what emerged from a series of meetings with my NATO counterparts this past week was a recommitment to finishing the job in Afghanistan. Our bottom line, as the foreign minister pointed out, is in together, out together. As an Alliance, we are fully committed to the Lisbon framework and transitioning to Afghan control by 2014.
Seems like these guys just can’t figure out who they are…or what they want to be when they grow up because they like to change names more often than a 15-year-old girl changes her hairstyle! Blackwater-Xe has morphed once again and has now been reborn as ACADEMI. Gosh, this must mean they’ve turned over a new leaf and will now be a kinder, gentler and uh…more academic(?) organization, right?
Contact: John Procter
Gibraltar Associates, LLC
+1 (202) 213-7233
December 12, 2011 – Arlington, Va. – USTC Holdings, LLC, the investor consortium that acquired Xe Services, LLC, including its main holding U.S. Training Center, Inc. (USTC) in December 2010, today announced ACADEMI as the new name and brand for Xe Services. The name ACADEMI (pronounced “academy”) was selected to better communicate the new company’s focus on future growth.
“We have had a year of extraordinary changes that have resulted in a new, better company,” President and CEO Ted Wright said in a statement. The ACADEMI name communicates both our legacy and where we are going as a company in the future. This is more than a simple name change,” Wright continued. “Rather it is a reflection of the changes we have made while retaining those elements that made us who we are today – the best in our industry.”
The announcement of ACADEMI is the culmination of a year of change as part of the company’s new chapter of growth. Upon acquiring Xe Services and its core operating subsidiaries in December 2010, USTC Holdings, LLC indicated that it would form a new Board of Directors, including independent unaffiliated directors, to manage the company and enhance its governance and oversight capabilities. Now complete and led by Chairman Red McCombs, the Board is made up of an exceptional team with diverse backgrounds, including former White House Counsel Jack Quinn and former Attorney General John Ashcroft, to help guide company decisions and operations.
A new senior leadership team led by President and CEO Ted Wright was put in place, comprising experts with both government and private sector experience to develop a culture of operational excellence, governance, accountability and strategic growth.
Central to the company’s new focus, Suzanne Folsom was named the company’s first chief regulatory and compliance officer with a core company mandate to create an industry-leading governance and compliance program.
In July, the company relocated its headquarters to Arlington, Va., in order to foster even stronger relationships and exchanges with customers in and around Washington.
Why am I not surprised to learn that a corporation like DynCorp – a company that manages small, private armies for hire – is also capable of screwing over the contractors they send into the farthest corners of hell on earth? This corporation makes part of its profit by sending people into areas where they are likely to get killed; is it reasonable to think they would care about the health or well-being of their employees?
I’m not sure which is worse; that our government uses our military forces for reasons of profit and plunder but does so under the guise of ‘spreading democracy’ or ‘defending freedom’ – or that corporations who perform the same tasks but make no secret of their motivation for what they do?
Either way, it seems the men and women who sign up with the public military force or private mercenary armies do not get the treatment they deserve when they inevitably get wounded to various degrees. Private armies for hire carry private insurance and as in almost every case, the insurance company is reluctant to approve treatment for injuries.
Due to the mistreatment of one contractor who was shafted by DynCorp’s insurance provider, CNA, there is now a class action suit pending against them. Daniel Brink was a former police officer working for DynCorp in Iraq when several roadside bombs blasted his SUV costing him several fingers, his right leg…and ultimately his home and life as he had known it.
CNA initially paid for treatment but then later disputed payments for the cost of counseling, follow-up surgeries & even an electric wheelchair. Daniel Brink claims that CNA took months to pay for surgeries and then outright denied other claims. During this time, Brink says that his credit rating plunged, his wheelchair was repossessed, and he lost his home to foreclosure.
He flew to Chicago in May of ‘07, believing he had an appointment to meet with a CNA
claims adjuster about his case. He arrived in Chicago only to discover that nobody from CNA would meet with him. To add insult to injury – security personnel escorted him off the property as though he were a common trespasser with no right to be there on business…
Brink, now with over $150,000 of medical debt, retained legal counsel (Law Offices of Scott Bloch) and has filed a class action lawsuit for “damages in the amount of $2 Billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives of thousands of American families and Foreign Citizens whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States, and to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.”
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death’s construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds…
(War Pigs - Black Sabbath)
Washington (CNN) – A nonpartisan panel reporting to Congress says the United States is wasting $12 million a day among contracts issued in support of American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Commissioner Katherine Schinasi told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that the numbers don’t seem to have an impact on people concerned about spending.
To make it easier to grasp the magnitude of the problem, Schinasi said, “we’ve broken it down to $12 million a day.”
Read the full article here on CNN
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