Tag: Pentagon

Army: 24 Suspected Suicides in January ’09

This is just being reported,

Army reports alarming rise in suicides last month

There has been a small sprinkling of reports about the Military Suicides in the last couple of months, most of those found only if one is hitting a number of news outlets but not making National News, even as those who serve do so for the Country not a Community located near a base or where their from.

Follow the money


President-elect Barack Obama’s adminstration will inherit a $1.2 trillion budget deficit for 2009 according to the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.

Unfortunately for the United States, despite owning more than $1 trillion of American debt, China has hinted that enough is enough. Rather than continuing to spend “as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt”, Beijing now plans to pay for its own $600 billion economic stimulus plan.

China’s timing is unfortunate for the American economy, since the federal budget deficit is likely to swell past $2 trillion in 2009 when Congress passes a further economic stimulus measure. The CBO forecast also does not include the ongoing spending for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where is Obama going to find the money to restart the U.S. economy?

The Invisible Injuries of the Invisible Ranks: A Military Spouse

Earlier today I received an e-mail from an on line friend, she is the wife of a military serviceman now serving in Iraq, she is also very active in support of her fellow spouses and the families as well as returning OIF and OEF military personal seeking needed help but finding the going sometimes extremely troubling, confusing or denied.

Many of us Veterans have found her and she us and have gotten to know her through our own advocacy of our brothers and sisters. Some are working directly with her and she with them.

She has written a very personal letter, the title I used above is the one from her letter to us, of her experiences and feelings, as a military spouse, and while posting it on a few sites it has now found it’s way to a number of other sites.

Coming Home – 60minutes Sunday 11-02-08

Reservists’ Rocky Return To Job Market

60 Minutes Report Also Examines Costs Borne By Employers Of Deployed Citizen Soldiers

Coming Home

Citizen soldiers returning from active military duty are entitled by law to get back their old jobs or at least the same salaries, but many are still having trouble. Leslie Stahl reports.

“Another Walter Reed-Type Scandal”

Soldiers at the military hospital languished in part due to incompatible databases and dismal record keeping. Welcome to the Pentagon’s $20 billion medical-records boondoggle.

The above subject title is a report, over at Mother Jones, I couldn’t think of a better title than used, really, written by Niko Karvounis who, according to the Mother Jones info at the end, is a program officer at The Century Foundation, where he researches health care, among other issues and is a regular contributor to HealthBeatBlog.org.

It’s one of those “Here we go again, on the incompetence and arrogance, of those that were placed on the public payroll under this corrupt and totally incompetent administration and arrogant wanna-be top CEO, only in his dreams, and complacent GOP congress up till the previous election!”.

Levitating the federal building

In the spirit, perhaps, of the Vietnam war protesters (pictured) who attempted to levitate the Pentagon in 1967, activists in Springfield, Mass. will observe the Iraq Moratorium on Friday, Aug. 15, by encircling the federal building there.

They’ll gather at 4 p.m. for a short rally, then will encircle the building and hold hands around it. The theme for the day is “Dont Invade Iran.” They are calling the action “Hands Around the Federal Building,” and say that car pools are coming from other cities. “we need 350 people to make this work. We are confident we will have that,” they say on the Moratorium blog.

That’s just one of dozens of events happening across the country, which are listed on the new, improved Moratorium website. There are always more that don’t get posted, or that only surface after the fact.  If you are planning a local action and don’t see it on the list, email the information so it can be posted and others can find out about it and join you.

The list keeps growing.  This month, two Wisconsin communities, Rice Lake and Waupaca, will have their first Iraq Moratorium actions.

The Iraq Moratorium is a simple concept.  It asks people to interrupt their daily routines on the Third Friday of every month and take some action, individually or with a group, to end the war and occupation.

The national Moratorium doesn’t try to tell people what action to take.  It offers a wide variety of options, from wearing a button or armband to taking part in a demonstration, and many things in between.  The important thing is that people do something.

The national website acts as a clearinghouse for information, collecting and posting events planned by local organizers and reports, photos and videos afterward.  It also offers some tips and tools for organizers to use.

It’s almost an exaggeration to call it a shoestring operation.  It operates on virtually no money with a volunteer crew. (Disclosure: I’m part of the volunteer core group that tries to keep it growing.)

Given its almost non-existent resources and media blackout of antiwar actions, it’s first year record is somewhat remarkable.  There have been more than 1,200 actions in 41 states and 240 communities since the Moratorium began in September 2007.  No one really knows how many individuals also observe the Moratorium in some way on the Third Friday of the month,  but it’s a significant number.

As Iraq Moratorium #12 approaches, think about one thing, big or small, that you can do to help.  If nothing else, a donation would be gratefully accepted — and you don’t have to wait until August 15.

Whatever it is, please do something.

Rape in the Military:

No commentary need be added, the below speaks for itself, and more can be found if interested.

Congress Charges Cover-Up

What’s Goin’ On? Is there really a War on?

The Iraq War, for it or against it, justified or unjustified, has not been reported fairly. On this point, everyone agrees.  That the good news has not been shown is just as true as that the bad news has not been shown.  The truth about just what has been reported is in question here.

The ACLU recently reported the extent to which the Pentagon has tightly controlled the flow of information that is available to the American Public.  There are no photos of caskets, no battle field footage that hasn’t been re-run thousands of times, no images of dead people.  Read that last one again… no photos, videos or even realistic reporting about DEAD people.  It’s almost as if the war has been sanitized to the point that even the “official” casualty lists do not sound real.  What’s goin’ on?

With all due respect to both sides of the debate, the American people have not ever yet truly participated in the experience of the war.  We haven’t seen dead soldiers return in flag draped coffins and we haven’t been able to mourn them or truly honor their sacrifice.  We haven’t seen the extent of the human casualties both civilian and military, enemy and ally to truly appreciate the horror of what has been accomplished.  We’ve only seen the scrubbed version of the war, the sanitized version that the Pentagon has gone to great lengths and considerable expense to present to us.

   “At every step of the way, the Bush administration and Defense Department have gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “Our democracy depends on an informed public and that is why it is so important that the American people see these documents. These documents will help to fill the information void around the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq and will lead to a more complete understanding of the prosecution of the war.”

When the real sights and sounds, horror and bloodshed of the reality in Iraq finally become known, will history treat our government harshly or will it be regarded as a necessary component of modern war?  Did the military truly learn the lesson of Vietnam in that the bloodshed, violence, and mayhem of war be hidden from the citizenry at all cost?  We’re there, we’re not leaving, and we the people are ignorant of the true cost in blood and sacrifice.

Yes, we do not hear the good news, but neither do we hear the bad. I fear that the war WILL go on forever, as long as the official Pentagon version of the events in Iraq is all we hear.  I fear that the citizens of this country will not be stirred to truly rise up against it, because we’ve been anesthetized to it’s horror.  I fear that the horrible reality of war has been transformed into glorious conquest in a cruel attempt to justify it’s fearful cost.


Once again the old say “A picture speaks a thousand words” can pop into ones mind.

Thomas, over at G.I. Special – Military Project starts out his latest News Letter with the following recent photo of ‘The War pResident’.

The Iraq Billions Easter Egg Hunt

I just received the latest MoJo {Mother Jones} newsletter. Always interesting commentary can certainly be found at MoJo.

The subject title, above, was used as their leadin to the commentary linked below.

The following was their question in the newsletter:

Pentagon puts the squeeze on ‘supporting the troops’

And so it begins:

(Bloomberg)– The U.S. Army won’t be able to pay soldiers beyond June 15 unless Congress approves $108 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or authorizes a funds transfer, a Defense Department official said.

If the supplemental spending legislation isn’t enacted by then, the Pentagon will be forced to seek congressional authority to use money designated for other services to fund the Army payroll, department spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Pentagon budget officials briefed congressional staffers about the funding crunch earlier today, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates addressed the issue in a letter to lawmakers yesterday, Morrell said at a Pentagon briefing.

If those Democrats in Congress don’t knuckle under move quickly, we’ll just have to quit paying the troops.


Bush plugs defense contractor – US Atty. drops case

Talk about burying the lede. The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Nevada refused to prosecute a Pentagon procurement scandal last year – a scandal which involved (mirabile dictu!) President George Bush. The Pentagon’s Inspector General, which just two weeks ago found serious problems with the testing and procurement of billions of dollars of body armor contracts, looked into the awarding of a $50 million contract to Strategic Message Solutions, a company that, as the Post says, “barely existed” (all emphases added):  

[I]nvestigators concluded that [Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen M.] Goldfein and others worked inside the Air Force contracting system to favor SMS and its owners, despite an offer by the company that was more than twice as expensive as another bid.

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