Sunday, January 25, 2015

Torture - Same Harsh Interrogation Tactics as a Totalitarian Regime

She finds it ironic today that the same agency which helped her family escape communism is accused of using some of the same harsh interrogation tactics as the totalitarian regime.

“The idea that you would torture people who you didn’t know were enemies or not – that you would torture (innocent) people in order to identify suspects – it makes me think of all we went through to get away from that,” Mikula said.

College dean recounts plight in former Czechoslovakia as Senate report likens CIA interrogations to torture
January 23, 2015 - Susan Mikula was 6 years old when she escaped from the former Czechoslovakia in the middle of the night with her mother and sister. She remembers in vivid and at times emotional detail what she and her family and others endured at the height of communism during the post-World War II era in Eastern Europe.

With the recent release of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report affirming aggressive post-911 CIA interrogations that many critics liken to torture, Mikula, a professor of Eastern European History and acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Benedictine University, has been reliving her harrowing childhood experiences in the dual context of an expatriate and American citizen. read more>>>

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Chilcot Inquiry - September 11 - Iraq War - Afghanistan Abandoned

The Chilcot inquiry: September 11 and the road to the Iraq War
23 January 2015 - After six years and nearly £9m, the report of Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war remains unpublished – and, we were told this week, will not be published this side of the general election.

Will the British public ever be told the truth about a conflict that millions of them opposed, whose lethal fallout can still be felt across the world today?

In the absence of an official account, this series of articles – based on evidence given to the inquiry and other accounts that are already in the public domain – is an attempt to set down in writing, as objectively as possible, the known facts and unresolved questions of one of the most bitterly controversial episodes in recent British history. read more>>>

25 January 2015 - The Chilcot inquiry: The men that led Britain to war in Iraq

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Revealing 'trauma of war' in Multimedia Series

National Geographic reveals 'trauma of war' in multimedia series
The two-part, multimedia series takes a look at how blast force effects veterans mentally and physically

January 22, 2015 - Between 2001 and 2014, around 230,000 service members and veterans were identified as suffering from a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the Department of Defense.

Despite its prevalence, there is no cure, no easy way to diagnose it, and no known way to prevent it. However, the emotional and physical effects of brain trauma are undeniable.

In an effort to portray the toll that brain trauma can take on combat veterans, National Geographic has woven together a compelling two-part, multimedia series. Focused on those who’ve returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, part one of the series takes a look at veterans in a unique art program at Walter Reed Medical Center. According to National Geographic, service members work with an art therapist to construct masks that symbolize themes such as death, patriotism, and pain. The masks are used as a therapeutic way to express the struggles that the veterans are dealing with. read more>>>

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!

Neither the long term results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, Veterans issues from!

As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds


Thursday, January 22, 2015

KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. In-Theater Burn Pits, Electrocutions Lawsuits

Supreme Court allows lawsuits over burn pits, electrocutions
20 January 2015 - The Supreme Court is allowing lawsuits involving open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and a soldier’s electrocution in a base shower to move forward against two of the largest American military contractors, according to wire reports.

The lawsuits were filed against KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co., which had filed appeals saying the lawsuits should be thrown out because the company was operating as an arm of the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of the lawsuits include claims that troops suffered health problems related to their exposure to burn pits and toxic chemicals on American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another claims that shoddy electrical work led to the electrocution death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, who was killed in a base shower in Iraq.

In general, the government cannot be sued in such cases, but private contractors working on behalf of the government have presented a legal gray area. Supreme Court justices offered no comment for their decision, according to the Associated Press. The Obama administration has sided with the contractors.

Open burning of waste was commonplace at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many troops suspect respiratory problems they have suffered after their deployments may be linked the clouds of smoke that often hung over bases. read more>>>

VA Public Health - Exposures: Burn pits have operated widely at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to help us learn more about potential health effects. Check your eligibility and sign up through an online questionnaire. more>>>


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

‘Children of the Fallen’

‘Children of the Fallen’

Introduction: The making of The Washington Post’s ‘Children of the Fallen’
Avery and Alaya Alexander, 9: Fatherless from the start.

January 20 2015 - Over the weekend, several of my colleagues and I published a very ambitious project called Children of the Fallen: 14 portraits of children whose parents died during the conflict in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history.

But our original idea was far simpler. We wanted to profile just one child, the son of Johnny “Mike” Spann, a CIA paramilitary officer killed in a prison uprising in Afghanistan — and the very first American to die in the conflict. His son was just a baby when he died. My editor, Lynda Robinson, who helms The Post’s local enterprise team, wanted to profile the way his father’s absence had shaped this boy’s life as a way of offering a different perspective on the impact of the war.

Calvin Davis, 6, is shown at his Menifee, Calif., home on Nov. 19. His father, Marine Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis, died in Afghanistan in 2013. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

I had just interviewed Spann’s widow, Shannon, that spring for a story about the CIA’s Memorial Wall. But when I called Shannon and pitched her on letting us profile her son, she was reluctant. She lives in a new state, works in a different job and enjoys her newfound privacy.

So Lynda came up with a different idea: Instead of focusing on a single child, we’d write short narratives about 14 kids, one for each year since 9/11. In the end, “Children of the Fallen” contains 14 vignettes about 17 kids, whose ages range from 6 to 34 and who live all across the country. (For some years, we chose to focus on a set of siblings.) read more>>>

Children of the Fallen: Portraits of Loss
The knock at the door. The shock and grief that followed. An absence that lasts a lifetime.

Much of the country grew weary of the longest war in U.S. history years ago. But for the hundreds of children who lost parents in Afghanistan, the conflict that began 26 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will never really end. They continue to pay the cost of war with the cheers they won’t hear from the soccer sidelines, the hugs they won’t get at their high school graduations, the arms they won’t clasp down the aisle at their weddings. read more w/links to each>>>

Portraits: One for each year of the Afghanistan war


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

They Should be Charged with Conspiracy to Torture

Lawyer of Guantanamo detainee: Donald Rumsfeld should be charged with conspiracy to torture
20 January 2015 - The former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be charged with conspiracy to torture in light of the alleged ill-treatment – including sexual abuse – documented by Mohamedou Ould Slahi during his 12 years detention without charge in Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer has claimed.

Mr Slahi’s "Guantanamo Diary", published today, is the only account written by a detainee still held in the controversial American military prison on Cuba. The 44-year-old tells how he was subjected to brutal treatment, including being kept in a “frozen room” for hours on end, forced to drink salt water, and repeatedly beaten.

“I was literally living in terror,” he writes, adding that he was denied sleep for more than two months. “For the next 70 days I wouldn’t know the sweetness of sleeping: interrogation 24 hours a day, three and sometimes four shifts a day.”

His allegations of psychological and physical torture suffered come just weeks after a US Senate report revealed the widespread use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” by the CIA.

In an interview with The Independent, his lawyer Nancy Hollander said: “The convention against torture, of which the United States is a party, requires that countries prosecute those who have tortured – why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted? I’m talking about Secretary of State Rumsfeld - he’s the one who signed the orders to torture Mohamedou... he should be charged with conspiracy to commit torture.” read more>>>

The Guardian Reports On the 'Guantánamo Diary'
Guantánamo Diary

A memoir serialised by the Guardian tells how Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi endured savage beatings, death threats and sexual humiliation read the reports w/audio readings>>>

{Note: while the Brits are covering the release of this book, with balanced reporting, I find No coverage of same in any of the major media outlets, At All! Not Surprised}

Europe: Complicit governments must act in wake of US Senate torture report
20 January 2015 - European governments that cooperated with the CIA’s secret detention, interrogation, and torture operations as part of the USA’s global “war on terror” must act urgently to bring those responsible to justice following a US Senate report containing new details said Amnesty International in a new briefing paper today.

“Breaking the conspiracy of silence: USA's European 'partners in crime’ must act after Senate torture report” links details in the Senate report to open source information regarding allegations that secret sites existed in Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. Other governments that are alleged in open sources to have facilitated these operations include Germany, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the UK. In some cases, these governments colluded with the CIA in exchange for millions of US dollars.

This briefing also highlights the inadequate responses of the respective governments to carry out full and effective investigations.

“Without European help, the USA would not have been able to secretly detain and torture people for so many years. read more>>>

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Birth of a Conservation Movement in China

What's seen in these recent decades in China, after adopting a more capitalist ideology, is caused mostly by the reagan ideology corporate capitalists not just because of the extremely low wages, and no benefits, for labor but even more for the almost total lack of regulations on those corporatist to run free while keeping prices rising and bottom line profits growing for huge, untaxed, returns, not shared with that producing labor!

How a monkey helped launch China's conservation movement
January 18, 2015 - The words MONKEY BUSINESS usually suggest something silly and frivolous, but for pioneering conservationists on the other side of the world, the business of monkeys is very serious business indeed. Seth Doane teamed up with students from the University of British Columbia's Global Reporting Centre for our Cover Story:

Trekking through the mountains in this remote corner of China not far from Tibet, the young filmmakers are in search of an elusive subject.

"This is a long hike to get up here not to see anything," said 25-year-old wildlife photographer Jacky Poon, as they hiked through a snowstorm.

They're trying to spot a rare "snub-nosed monkey," which often means enduring grueling conditions and subzero temperatures, only to be disappointed. read more>>>

And evolving now, with the growth of conservation idea's in places like China, with decades of stagnated wage growth in capitalist societies, towards bringing back some of those once innovative and experienced trades labor that built an economy envied by all. With much lower wages, not shared with the producing labors, and with little to no regulations on what they do! While also winning the long wanted battles to destroy the beauty and natural treasures of the lands, air and waters!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Exposing the Brutality of US Rendition and Torture

Guantánamo Diary exposes brutality of US rendition and torture
16 January 2015 - The groundbreaking memoir of a current Guantánamo inmate that lays bare the harrowing details of the US rendition and torture programme from the perspective of one of its victims is to be published next week after a six-year battle for the manuscript to be declassified.

"Guantánamo Diary", the first book written by a still imprisoned detainee, is being published in 20 countries and has been serialised by the Guardian amid renewed calls by civil liberty campaigners for its author’s release.

* Mohamedou Ould Slahi remains in Guantánamo despite having never been charged with a crime.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi describes a world tour of torture and humiliation that began in his native Mauritania more than 13 years ago and progressed through Jordan and Afghanistan before he was consigned to US detention in Guantánamo, Cuba, in August 2002 as prisoner number 760. US military officials told the Guardian this week that despite never being prosecuted and being cleared for release by a judge in 2010, he is unlikely to be released in the next year.

The journal, which Slahi handwrote in English, details how he was subjected to sleep deprivation, death threats, sexual humiliation and intimations that his torturers would go after his mother.

After enduring this, he was subjected to “additional interrogation techniques” personally approved by the then US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. He was blindfolded, forced to drink salt water, and then taken out to sea on a high-speed boat where he was beaten for three hours while immersed in ice. read more>>>

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Vietnam Veteran, with Severe PTS, Executed

As the country served ignores so many issues, of our wars, or just plain denies they exist, for decades, especially PTS, so many more, these are the results. From the extremely tragic incidents to the ends that follow. The first execution of 2015!

Should he have been convicted, yes. Should he have been sent to prison, yes, and with a life sentence and treatment, if through treatment he better understood he could have been an asset to other veterans imprisoned and from the mitigating possibilities of their own PTS that led them to break the laws. Should he have been executed,No!!

Vietnam veteran convicted in cop shooting executed in Georgia
January 13, 2015 - A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for speeding on a Georgia interstate was put to death Tuesday for the 1998 killing, which was captured on the patrol car's video camera.

Andrew Howard Brannan, 66, was pronounced dead at 8:33 p.m. Tuesday after a single-drug injection at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted of the January 1998 shooting death of Kyle Dinkheller, a 22-year-old sheriff's deputy in Laurens County, central Georgia.

"I extend my condolences to the Dinkheller family, especially Kyle's parents and his wife and his two children," Brannan said in a statement moments before the injection was administered.

Lawyers for Brannan, a Vietnam veteran, had unsuccessfully argued to authorities to spare the inmate's life, saying the shooting was tied to mental illness directly traced to Brannan's military service.

snip

"Is it right to execute a mentally-ill veteran whose sole incidence of violent behavior is traceable directly and inexorably to mental illness resulting from his combat service?" Brannan's lawyers had written in that clemency petition.

snip

Veterans Administration doctors had diagnosed Brannan with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1984 and determined that his condition had deteriorated to the point of 100 percent disability by 1990, the petition said. That mental illness was compounded by bipolar disorder diagnosed in 1996, his lawyers added. read more>>>

As PTS, after veterans fought to recognize for decades, was finally recognized with these two, still unpaid for, recent wars and long occupations, specialized veterans courts were established finally, starting in 2008, and have been growing in numbers across the country!

Veterans Courts - Resource Guide


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DoD Ebola Response Effort

DoD Releases Breakdown of Ebola Response Effort
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2015 – The Defense Department today released a breakdown of the numbers of DoD personnel involved in the battle to stop the spread of Ebola.

The efforts, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, involve 2,367 DoD personnel, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. Most of those personnel -- 2,174 -- are based in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. The remaining 193 personnel are Marine Corps members and port operations personnel operating in Dakar, Senegal.

U.S. military personnel are not involved in treating patients with Ebola, defense officials have said. Their role in the fight is to provide logistical support and training for health care workers, to test medical samples and to construct Ebola treatment units. Since training began Oct. 27, the 40-person Army and Air Force team has trained 1,539 health care workers.

Personnel breakdown by area: read more>>>

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

* * * Operation United Assistance * * *

Behavioral health advocates ready to provide support
1/10/2015 - As Soldiers prepare to transition out of Liberia and into controlled monitoring areas, a few may face certain challenges such as stress. Some Soldiers may suffer from mild anxiety after being away from home. To help, Soldiers will look to their peers or seek help from a behavioral health specialist. By having a behavioral health advocate available, it promotes the strength of the battle buddy system and the mantra that Soldiers take care of each other.

Maj. Alexander Ragan, the behavioral health officer for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, provides behavioral health support to all Soldiers at the National Police Training Academy, in support of Operation United Assistance, but he can’t be with every group that enters the CMAs. read more>>>


Sunday, January 11, 2015

"America wake up. Torture doesn't save lives, it costs them."

Counterintelligence Officer: Lt. Colonel Douglas A. Pryer
January 10, 2015 - Thanks to the Senate’s report on CIA torture, Americans should now realize that there was nothing “enhanced” about the Bush administration’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

These tactics were more than just cruel and degrading — they were also harmful. Far from providing intelligence that saved lives, these techniques produced unreliable intelligence. And they’ve associated our great country with disgusting abuses like “rectal feeding.”

The public response should’ve been dismay and disgust. Instead, America yawned. A recent Pew poll found that a majority of Americans still believe that these interrogation methods were justified and provided live-saving intelligence.

Really?

In 1995, I swore an oath to support and defend our Constitution — a document proclaiming basic human rights and prohibiting the U.S. government from inflicting “cruel and unusual punishment.” After taking this oath, I became a military intelligence officer and, four years after that, a counterintelligence officer with interrogation training.

I’m writing this as a private citizen, so my opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of the U.S. military. read more>>>

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Anger Grows on Delay of Chilcot Report on War in Iraq

Angry MPs challenge ‘stitch-up’ over delay of Chilcot report on war in Iraq
Cross-party group accuses Tories and Labour amid fears report will not be published until after general election

10 January 2015 - Furious MPs are planning a parliamentary debate to challenge an alleged “stitch-up” that could delay the report of the Iraq war inquiry until after the general election.

A cross-party coalition has demanded that parliament’s backbench committee allocate half a day to discussing the continuing delay in publishing the Chilcot inquiry’s findings, which are expected to include severe criticism of the UK’s decision to join the US-led invasion in 2003.

The group pushing for the debate, which includes members of Plaid Cymru, the SNP and Labour as well as Tory MP David Davis, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, and former Lib Dem Home Office minister Norman Baker, believes the government must ensure that the public are allowed to see the report as soon as possible.

The increased pressure for publication came as the government confirmed that it will hold the report back if it is not completed by the end of next month, apparently contradicting assurances by the prime minister that the timing of its publication was independent of him. read more>>>

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture

22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Friday, January 09, 2015

“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"

This Is What $1.6 Trillion Bought in the U.S. Global War on Terror
January 08, 2015 - In the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States has spent a total of $1.6 trillion financing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters of the global war on terror — according to calculations made by the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. government’s massive spending sum includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, reconstruction, weapons maintenance, base support, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans health care.

This $1.6 trillion figure may seem small compared to some estimates that have been made. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government forecast in 2013 that the decade-long wars in the Middle East would eventually cost American taxpayers as much as $6 trillion. With that price tag, roughly the same as the annual gross domestic product of India, this smaller sum may seem more manageable. But it is important to remember that the $1.6 trillion has already been spent. The $6 trillion sum is a long-term estimate that includes such considerations as the lifetime medical costs of the 2.5 million veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, many of whom served multiple deployments, survived injuries that would have been fatal in other U.S. wars, and now face huge mental and physical challenges. “Another major share of the long-term costs of the wars comes from paying off trillions of dollars in debt incurred as the U.S. government failed to include their cost in annual budgets and simultaneously implemented sweeping tax cuts for the rich,” stated the report. “In addition, huge expenditures are being made to replace military equipment used in the two wars.” In fact, Harvard researchers claimed that the largest portion of the War on Terror’s bill has yet to be paid.

snip

As it has for centuries, war literature has acted as a catharsis for the writer, bridged the gap between the soldier at war and the home front, and borne witness to the death and chaos of the battlefield. The works penned by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq also point out the the most important particularities of those conflicts: The changes in technology, the increased presence of female soldiers, and “most importantly, the all-volunteer military, which has opened a chasm between soldiers (“the other 1 percent”) and civilians,” according to Kakutani. “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11 and a ban (with origins in the first Gulf War and lifted in 2009) on photographing coffins on military bases, it’s no surprise that the disconnect between life ‘over there’ and life ‘back here’ has emerged as a central theme in much of today’s war writing.”

Of course, when soldiers were deployed, and to which country, drove the narratives. “Early successes in Afghanistan made for very different sorts of narratives than those that would come out of Iraq later, when knowledge of just what a misguided enterprise it was (cherry-picked intelligence, bungled decision making in Washington and a dysfunctional occupation) had created a dark undertow to many soldiers’ perception of their own experiences,” concluded Kakutani. read more>>>

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Pres. Bush: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated”


01/05/15 - CIA torture sites undercut stated US foreign policy

Rachel Maddow shows how the CIA was making deals with other countries for secret black sites to house prisoners while the U.S. State Department was calling for open disclosure of prisoners by some of those same countries.


01/05/15 - Torture recommendations address CIA/State gap

Philip Zelikow, counselor to the State Department from 2005 to 2007, talks with Rachel Maddow about the conflict between the CIA’s use of black sites in other countries and the State Department’s policies and dealings with countries hosting those sites.

* * * CIA Torture: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

In a Democracy: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture
22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

$14 Million An Hour: War Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Since 9/11, Say Congressional Researchers
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Bill 'Moyers & Company': The Children’s Climate Crusade

Full Show: The Children’s Climate Crusade
January 1, 2015 - The very agencies created to protect our environment have been hijacked by the polluting industries they were meant to regulate. It may just turn out that the judicial system, our children and their children will save us from ourselves.

The new legal framework for this crusade against global warming is called atmospheric trust litigation. It takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere – its air, water, land, plants and animals — are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come. It’s the strategy being used by Bill’s recent guest, Kelsey Juliana, a co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust, that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions. read more>>>

More Found At: Moyers and Company

Bill Moyers' Retirement from Television "Lays Down a Challenge" for Next Generation of Journalists
January 02, 2015 - After more than forty years as celebrated and progressive voice in broadcast news, veteran journalist says... "Over to you, welcome to the fight." read more>>>