Hope2012


News on Our Men In Uniform: Killers Protected; Protectors Killed

Canada, U.S. agree to use each other’s troops in civil emergencies – Global Research 12/26/08

The US Has 761 Military Bases Across the Planet, and We Simply Never Talk About It – Alternet 9/8/08

Some U.S. Combat Troops To Be Reclassified – Global Research 12/23/08

US to double military forces in Afghanistan – Global Research 12/23/08

Army Officials Say Many More Active-Duty Troops Are Needed – Washington Post 12/25/08 

Study: Marines full of ‘drunk, horny’ teens – Raw Story 1/6/09 

To boost recruits, US Army relaxes weight rules – Christian Science Monitor 1/5/09

Nazis in military: ‘Proud of my kills’ – Raw Story 12/14/08

Racial Extremists Are Infiltrating the Military for the Chance to ‘Kill a Brown’ – Alternet 12/15/08

Guard to continue patrolling New Orleans (AP)  – Yahoo 12/20/08

Report: $40b needed to expand Army – Raw Story 12/22/08

Increase needed above current spending levels for planned 1.1 million troops.

IED threat known before war – Raw Story 12/9/08

Report: Pentagon aware of threat, did little to better protect troops.

How the U.S. Army’s Field Manual Codified Torture — and Still Does – Alternet 1/7/09

CBS: Iraq contractor ‘knowingly exposed troops to toxin’ – Raw Story 12/23/08

NBC’s “One-Man Military-Industrial-Media Complex” – Alternet 12/8/08

As a consultant for military contractors, retired general and Pentagon pundit Barry McCaffrey is a first-class war profiteer.

America’s Child Soldiers: US Military Recruiting Children to Serve in the Armed Forces – Global Research 12/23/08

Kids Learn that Killing Is Fun at the Army’s Lethal New Theme Park  – Alternet 12/19/08

The Army’s new recruitment tool lets high-tech video game centers desensitize, condition, train and even enlist America’s youth.

Army Wages iPod Warfare in Baghdad – Wired 12/16/08

 The Moral Legitimacy of Refusing to Fight in an Illegitimate War – Alternet 12/27/08

Military adapting Nintendo Wii to control combat robots – Raw Story 12/26/08

 
War Resister Kimberley Rivera & Family ordered to leave Canada – Global Research 1/6/09

Vets Used In Military Experiments Sue Government – via Cryptogon 1/9/09 

Interview: She’s home from jail, but Lynndie England can’t escape Abu Ghraib – Guardian, UK 1/2/09

Army investigates recruiter suicides – Raw Story 1/3/09

Fifty percent of recruiter suicides since 2001 happened in Houston.

The Failed Logic of Supporting the Troops – Global Research 12/14/08

AP Newsbreak: War vet widows wrongly denied help (AP)  – Yahoo 12/13/08

I’m not killing nobody no more – via Metafilter 1/8/09

Three US veterans testify. Also, Shministim. Utah Phillips on pacifism. A First World War Christian Conscientious Objector Remembered.

War Vet, 50, Stunned By New Deployment  – WMSV, Tenn 12/31/08

A veteran who has been out of the military for 15 years and recently received his AARP card was stunned when he received notice he will be deployed to Iraq.  Involuntary recall allows the military, regardless of age or how long someone has been out of service, to order vets back into active duty….”Right now, I’m just in disbelief because it’s like the disbelief that this could be happening 15 years after being out of the military. It’s like a dream or a nightmare,” said Linda Bandel. 

The veteran is dusting off his old uniforms and torn between his duty to his country and obligations as a grandfather.  “I certainly never thought I’d be going back there at this point in my life,” said Paul Bandel.  The last missile system the veteran was trained to operate is no longer used by the military.  Calls to the Army and the Pentagon about how many men and women in their 50s are being called back to duty were not returned Wednesday.   Paul Bandel will be deployed overseas until 2010. His wife plans to move in with her elderly parents until his return.

 

Survey: 98% of ER doctors suspect excessive police force  – USA Today 1/9/09

US police could get ‘pain beam’ weapons – New Scientist 12/24/08

Prominent Austin Activist Admits He Infiltrated RNC Protest Groups As FBI Informant – Democracy Now! 1/6/09

An Austin-based activist named Brandon Darby has revealed he worked as an FBI informant in the eighteen months leading up to the Republican National Convention. Darby has admitted to wearing recording devices at planning meetings and wearing a transmitter embedded in his belt during the convention.

Another Botched Drug Raid: Officers Shot, Mistaken for Burglars, No Drugs Found – Stop The Drug War 1/4/09

New Orleans cops shoot man in back 12 times – Raw Story 1/9/09

Killer BART cop resigns – Raw Story 1/7/09

Videos: Oakland protests turn violent after police execution – Raw Story 1/8/09

New video shows BART officer shooting Hayward man in the back – ContraCosta Times 1/4/09

While the man is lying face down on the ground, one officer appears to be seen pulling out a gun and firing a single shot into his back.

Sheriff jailed over $$$ meant for inmate meals – CNN 1/9/09

A federal judge ordered a north Alabama sheriff jailed earlier this week, saying the lawman intentionally served jail inmates “woefully insufficient” meals in order to pocket more than $200,000.

More Groups Than Thought Monitored in Police Spying – Washington Post 1/3/09

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored — and labeled as terrorists — activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a “security threat” because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. Angry consumers fighting a 72 percent electricity rate increase in 2006 were targeted. The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation….The operation has been called a “waste of resources” by the current police superintendent and “undemocratic” by the governor.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Former drug warrior ‘stings’ crooked cops – Raw Story 12/30/08

The Taser Myth: How Does a ‘Non-Lethal Weapon’ Kill 400 People? -Alternet 12/13/08

CAUGHT: D.C. cops stole from Toys for Tots – Raw Story 12/27/08

Naked man fights Harris deputies; dies after Taser shocks – Houston Chronicle 12/24/08 

Police say vet made, sold IED’s to gangs – Raw Story 12/26/08

Decorated Iraq veteran charged with selling IED’s for as little as $100 each.



Support the Troops – Stop the Atrocities!

Gulf War illness is real, new federal report says – CNN 11/17/08

An extensive federal report released Monday concludes that roughly one in four of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness. 

Gulf war veteran research lacking – Raw Story 11/14/08

Even as possibly hundreds of thousands of veterans suffer from a collection of symptoms commonly called Gulf War illness, the government has done too little to find treatments for their health problems nearly two decades after the war.

The New Gulf War Syndrome – Alternet 11/11/08

Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are in danger from toxic chemicals, yet most don’t know what they’ve been exposed to or where to get help.

Horror Of US Depleted Uranium In Iraq Threatens World  – Rense 4/29/05

Video: Depleted Uranium – Iraq’s Nuclear Nightmare – Uruknet 10/20/08

Anti-war veterans deploy 4,171 toy soldiers at gas station – Raw Story 11/17/08

Chemicals at US Iraq burn pit site – Raw Story 11/21/08

A soldier concerned about his tour at Forward Operating Base Hammer near Balad, Iraq, this year sent Military Times a report showing high levels of particulate matter and low levels of manganese, possibly due to materials destroyed in a burn pit.

“The high risk estimate is due to the average (particulate matter) level being at a concentration the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers ‘hazardous,’ and is likely to affect the health of all troops,” wrote Jeffrey Kirkpatrick, director of health risk assessment for the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. “Manganese was also detected above its one-year military exposure guidelines.”

Raped in the Military? You’ll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit – Alternet 11/11/08

Contractors Nervous About Losing Immunity in Iraq – Mother Jones 11/7/08

Military Contractors Are Here to Stay, Report Concludes – Mother Jones 11/10/08

Despite the Threat of Harsh Punishment, Soldier Says “No” to Deployment in Afghanistan – Alternet 10/23/08

How 21-year-old soldier Blake Ivey came to see war as “flat-out murder.”

Injured vets returned to combat – Raw Story 11/25/08

Definition of combat-related disabilities narrowed, costing vets benefits.

Report: Army to sink $50 million into combat training games – CNet 11/24/08

Revealed: Gulf War Syndrome is Real, Caused by Pills and Pesticides – Alternet 11/20/08

A groundbreaking study has found that pills given to U.S. and British troops to counter nerve gas is one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome.

New friendly fire coverup: Army shreds files on dead soldiers – Salon 11/20/08

Hours after Salon revealed evidence that two Americans were killed by a U.S. tank, not enemy fire, military officials destroyed papers on the men.

Iraq veterans exposed to cancer-causing dust sue contractor – Raw Story 12/3/08

The Guardsmen charge that KBR was aware of dangerous levels of sodium dichromate on the premises, used to remove corrosion from pipes. Part of its chemical makeup is hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Sergeant First Class David Moore of Dubois, Indiana, was among those said to be affected: he died this year of chronic interstitial lung disease. His death was ruled service-related.

“It’s not right,” said Mark McManaway, 55, the main plaintiff in the suit. He has suffered rashes and nosebleeds he blames on the exposure. Their attorney, Mike Doyle, is also representing ten KBR workers in arbitration (Langford v. Halliburton, American Arbitration Association, 70-480-00649-05) who echo the charge, saying that their employer chose to cover up the exposure after neglecting to issue them the proper protective gear. Ed Blacke, who worked as a medic at Qarmat Ali, testified to a Senate panel in June that he was fired when he discovered the toxic dust and tried to warn others. “A day’s exposure could write you a death warrant,” he added. “Just one day’s exposure.” He said that the chemical contamination was an act of sabotage by the Iraqi Baath party.

“The Tell City Guardsmen were repeatedly told that there was no danger on site, even after KBR managers knew that blood testing of American civilians exposed onsite confirmed elevated chromium levels,” Doyle said in the complaint…The Guardsmen’s complaint includes a copy of an internal KBR memo, dated June 2003, in which managers discussed sodium dichromate at the plant, and a statement from the Army confirming that there was “high potential for direct exposure” to the chemical during the time the Guardsmen were stationed at the plant.

Halliburton, KBR sickened largest base in Iraq, likely others – Army Times 12/4/08

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there….Joshua Eller, who worked as a civilian computer-aided drafting technician with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said military personnel, contractors and third-country nationals may have been sickened by contamination at the largest U.S. installation in Iraq, home to more than 30,000 service members, Defense Department civilians and contractors….

Eller filed his claim after he deployed in February 2006 for 10 months. The lawsuit claims he developed skin lesions that subsequently spread, filled with fluid and burst. He said they went away, then reappeared, followed by blisters on his feet that made it painful for him to walk. He said they healed, but continue to return every three to four months.  Then, Eller said he experienced vomiting, cramping and diarrhea, and continues to suffer severe abdominal pain.

“Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”…A report from Wil Granger, KBR’s water quality manager for Iraq, states that non-potable water used for showering was not disinfected. “This caused an unknown population to be exposed to potentially harmful water for an undetermined amount of time,”…The suit notes that former KBR employees Ben Carter and Ken May testified at a congressional hearing in January 2006 that KBR used contaminated water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Carter testified that he found the water polluted with sewage and that KBR did not chlorinate it.  The lawsuit states the swimming pools at Balad were also filled with unsafe water.

Eller also accused KBR of serving spoiled, expired and rotten food to the troops, as well as dishes that may have been contaminated with shrapnel.  “Defendants knowingly and intentionally supplied and served food that was well past its expiration date, in some cases over a year past its expiration date,” the lawsuit states. “Even when it was called to the attention of the KBR food service managers that the food was expired, KBR still served the food to U.S. forces.”  The food included chicken, beef, fish, eggs and dairy products, which caused cases of salmonella poisoning, according to the lawsuit.

“KBR prevented their employees from speaking with government auditors and hid employees from auditors by moving them from bases when an audit was scheduled,” the lawsuit states. “Any employees that spoke with auditors were sent to more dangerous locations in Iraq as punishment.”

The lawsuit also accuses KBR of shipping ice in mortuary trucks that “still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains in them when they were loaded with ice. This ice was served to U.S. forces.”…

Eller also accuses KBR of failing to maintain a medical incinerator at Joint Base Balad, which has been confirmed by two surgeons in interviews with Military Times about the Balad burn pit. Instead, according to the lawsuit and the physicians, medical waste, such as needles, amputated body parts and bloody bandages were burned in the open-air pit.

“Wild dogs in the area raided the burn pit and carried off human remains,” the lawsuit states. “The wild dogs could be seen roaming the base with body parts in their mouths, to the great distress of the U.S. forces.”

According to military regulations, medical waste must be burned in an incinerator to prevent anyone from breathing hazardous fumes.

“On at least one occasion, defendants were attempting to improperly dispose of medical waste at an open-air burn pit by backing a truck full of medical waste up to the pit and emptying the contents onto the fire,” the lawsuit states. “The truck caught fire. Defendants’ fraudulent actions were thereby discovered by the military.”

The lawsuit also states that the contractors burned old lithium batteries in the pits, “causing noxious and unsafe blue smoke to drift over the base.”

Military Times has received more than 100 letters from troops saying they were sickened by fumes from the burn pits, which burned plastics, petroleum products, rubber, dining-facility waste and batteries.

The lawsuit asks that the plaintiffs receive monetary compensation for physical injuries, emotional distress, fear of future disease, and need for continued medical treatment and involvement, and that KBR and Halliburton be stripped of all revenue and profits earned “from their pattern of constant misconduct and callous disregard to the welfare of Americans serving and working in Iraq.” 

 

Bill Moyers Interviews former US Army Col. Andrew Bacevich – PBS 9/26/08

Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life
 


News By and About US Troops

VIDEO: Martial Law. U.S. Army prepares to invade U.S. – Global Research 10/10/08

FEMA sources confirm coming martial law – Global Research 10/9/08

Army investigates chemical exposure – Raw Story 9/24/08

KBR denies knowingly harming troops with carcinogenic toxins.

We regret to inform you. – Metafilter 9/13/08

In Their Boots is a new online “magazine show” about the impact of the wars on US servicemembers and their families.

Troop electocutions higher than reported – Raw Story 9/9/08

The new Nazi army: How the U.S. military is allowing the far-right to join its ranks. – Metafilter 9/7/08

Nazis in the military is dedicated to the investigative project undertaken by journalist Matthew Kennard while studying for a MS in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University in New York. It was completed over six months and explores the increasingly liberal attitude of the U.S. military to neo-Nazis and white supremacists serving in the armed forces.

16 troops commit suicide in Iraq – PressTV, Iran 9/8/08

Iraqi security sources have revealed that 21 US troops had committed suicide inside a former Iraqi air force base 27 days ago, Fars News Agency reported on Monday.According to the sources, the 21 troops were treated in a hospital but only five soldiers have survived and they are in a critical condition.  

365: A Guide to Coming Back – Tips from one solider to another on readjusting to being home again – ArmyofDude 9/11/08

The VA Continues to Abandon Returning Vets – Alternet 9/4/08

Another tour of duty for iRobot – CNET 9/2/08

U.S. Army to re-up $200 million contract for general robots, services, and training, as well as PackBots.

We Blew Her To Pieces: Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan – Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation – review by Dahr Jamail on IPSNews 9/16/08

“Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation,” published by Haymarket Books Tuesday, is a gut-wrenching, historic chronicle of what the U.S. military has done to Iraq, as well as its own soldiers.
Authored by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and journalist Aaron Glantz, the book is a reader for hearings that took place in Silver Spring, Maryland between Mar. 13-16, 2008 at the National Labour College.
“I remember one woman walking by,” said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the U.S. Marines who served three tours in Iraq. “She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realised that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces.” …Four days of searing testimony, witnessed by this writer, is consolidated into the book, which makes for a difficult read. One page after another is filled with devastating stories from the soldiers about what is being done in Iraq…
Scott Ewing, who served in Iraq from 2005-2006, admitted on one panel that units intentionally gave candy to Iraqi children for reasons other than “winning hearts and minds”.
“There was also another motive,” Ewing said, “If the kids were around our vehicles, the bad guys wouldn’t attack. We used the kids as human shields.”
Glantz admits that it would be difficult for the average U.S. citizen to read the book, and believes it is important to keep in mind while doing so what it took for the veterans to give this historic testimony.
“They could have been heroes, but what they are doing here is even more heroic — which is telling the truth,” Glantz told IPS. “They didn’t have to come forward. They chose to come forward.”