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Pakistan


For Our Allies, Death From Above

London

LAST Friday, I took part in an unusual meeting in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey.

The meeting was organized as a traditional jirga. In Pashtun culture, a jirga acts as both a parliament and a courtroom: it is the time-honored way in which Pashtuns have tried to establish rules and settle differences amicably with those who they feel have wronged them.

On the night before the meeting, we had a dinner, to break the ice. During the meal, I met a boy named Tariq Aziz. He was 16. As we ate, the stern, bearded faces all around me slowly melted into smiles. Tariq smiled much sooner; he was too young to boast much facial hair, and too young to have learned to hate.

The next day, the jirga lasted several hours. I had a translator, but the gist of each man’s speech was clear. American drones would circle their homes all day before unleashing Hellfire missiles, often in the dark hours between midnight and dawn. Death lurked everywhere around them.

When it was my turn to speak, I mentioned the official American position: that these were precision strikes and no innocent civilian had been killed in 15 months. My comment was met with snorts of derision.

READ THE REST IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

$1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Report: Military Blew $1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Nov. 2, 2011 - A new study suggests that defense hawks are crying crocodile tears over planned cuts to Pentagon spending.

Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."

Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania: CIA Prison Program

Lithuania in the dock for role in CIA rendition program

28 October, 2011 - A human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania for its role in a CIA rendition program which allegedly involved the illegal detention and torture of “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah, who was initially captured by American and Pakistani special services in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, spent some of his time in custody in a secret detention center in Lithuania, according to the Interights group. The European country allegedly collaborated with the CIA on its program of secret prisons, which allowed suspects to be incarcerated and tortured outside American territory.

On War: AMEN, Rachel, AF'inMEN!!!

Quite enough from Mr. Wolfowitz and the Cabal
Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow expresses exasperation that Paul Wolfowitz is still treated by the media as if he has credibility on foreign policy matters despite his infamous history of disastrously poor judgment.

 

Demanding Bush’s “Arrest” Over War Crimes with Indictment

Canadian protesters demand Bush’s “arrest” over war crimes

October 21, 2011 - Ottawa: Hundreds of protestors have asked the Canadian authorities to arrest former US President George W Bush for war crimes after he reached a Surrey hotel on Thursday.

Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton were among the keynote speakers attending the annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International were demanding the arrest of Bush.

Gail Davidson of the Lawyers against the War expressed outrage over the federal government for ignoring its responsibility in not arresting Bush.

The last hype for 9/11 industry is over

“George W Bush has blood on his hands, and Tony Blair too"

September 16, 2011 - The 9/11 industry harvested its biggest riches on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the yet-to-be fully documented coordinated attacks on the United States of America which produced the era of awe and shock, bull-dozed all international norms, and initiated two great wars of the twenty-first century.

 

New Doc's Detail America's Strategic Response to 9/11

Secret U.S. Message to Mullah Omar: "Every Pillar of the Taliban Regime Will Be Destroyed"

 

New Documents Detail America's Strategic Response to 9/11

Bush White House Resistant to Rebuilding Afghanistan

Rumsfeld's War Aim: "Significantly Change the World's Political Map"

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 358

Posted - September 11, 2011

 

Top Secret America and the Huge Blank Checks Of

We are given figures in the multi multi billions spent on the wars of choice and the so called 'homeland security', but there are huge amounts, in the multi billions, not known or labeled top secret and blacked out in government reports on the rapid growth of intelligence within government and the added private contractors and the costs of that growth. As pointed out in the 'PBS Frontline' report, below, what has it accomplish over all these years, especially as to the main mission after 9/11 and finally getting bin Laden, found through intelligence of a small group and carried out by a small group of 'special forces'.

Return of the Malaise: Up to Our Asses in Alligators

 

By John Grant

 

It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.

Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.

Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good for National Security
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump


 

Bush on 9/11: 'I Didn't Have a Strategy'

Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!

Why Pakistani Military Demands a Veto on Drone Strikes

By Gareth Porter, IPS

ISLAMABAD, Aug 16, 2011 (IPS) - Pakistani civilian and military leaders are insisting on an effective veto over which targets U.S. drone strikes hit, according to well-informed Pakistani military sources here.

The sources, who met with IPS on condition that they not be identified, said that such veto power over the conduct of the drone war is a central element in a new Pakistani demand for a formal government-to-government agreement on the terms under which the United States and Pakistan will cooperate against insurgents in Pakistan.

The basic government-to-government agreement now being demanded would be followed, the sources said, by more detailed agreements between U.S. and Pakistani military leaders and intelligence agencies.

Investigation - 9/11: The Tapping Point

SURPRISE! When Osama bin Laden talked, the United States could have been listening.

 

September 2011 - One morning in June 2001, three months before the 9/11 attacks on the United States, I happened to be interviewing a senior official from the British Secret Intelligence Service, M.I.6. His current focus was the war on drugs, not international terrorism, but he shared a piece of information that united the two subjects.

A short time earlier, the official told me, the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted a call between two satellite-telephone users in Afghanistan—the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. They had been discussing the Taliban’s ban on growing opium poppies, imposed the previous summer—a remarkably effective edict that had shrunk production in areas they controlled almost to zero.

What's Hampering Jobless Veterans

With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.

Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.

Murdoch - Blair and Blood For Oil

Did deference to Murdoch oil the wheels of invasion?

 

3 August 2011 - The Mail on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Tony Blair will face 'scathing criticism' of his role in the launch of the Iraq war when the report of the inquiry under Sir John Chilcot is published in the autumn.

On the same day, the Observer reported that the terms of an oil deal struck between BP and the Baghdad government will provide the company and its Chinese partner with a 'stranglehold' over the Iraqi economy. Even in the midst of his current multifarious travails, Rupert Murdoch may have managed a smile at that one.

 

The (T)'s Continue the "Screw You" to Soldiers/Vets and Families of

Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!

Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:

 

Infrastructure and Alternative Energy = Good Strong Growth

No money for infrastructure? Get ready to crumble!

 

July 28: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, talks with TRMS guest host Melissa Harris-Perry about the litany of benefits that would come with more investment in US infrastructure and the certain disaster if Republicans succeed in slashing government spending.

 

DeJa-Vu: Long Past the Wars

A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!

As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!

 

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs: 27 July 2011

WAR TAX NOW, and stop laying blame on the agencies YOU are supposed to fund!
Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

 

May be live streamed from site

 

WITNESS LIST

Crystal Nicely, Caregiver and Spouse of OEF veteran

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office

James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation

"Shared Sacrifice"??

"Shared Sacrifice"? WAR TAX NOW!!

 

Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans

 

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!

 

Tepublicans to Military Veterans: Shove It!!

WAR TAX NOW, and call it that
Some of this I posted last night, under a different subject heading, I'm adding more to that with a change in the VVA press release link.

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

Senator Coburn to Vietnam Veterans: Shove It!!

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

 

US claims of ‘no civilian deaths’ in Pakistan drone strikes is untrue

Here's a study of the known civilian deaths from US drone srikes in Pakistan, by the Bureau of Investigative Jorunalism, via Glenn Greenwald.

'Jobless veterans, US national disgrace'

I Demand a War Tax and call it that, it's been over a decade and counting of No Sacrifice by the Country as we demanded Sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families, with multiple tours in two occupation theaters!

Those of us who were born during or in the years shortly after World War II grew into what our grand parents and parents with the help of our Government investments were building, joining in as we joined the workforce professions to build for our children, from the needed education professions to the skilled trades once professions.

'Stand Down': Mom Honors Soldier Son

Mom Honors Soldier Son With Stand Down Work

 

Jill Millard Helps Coordinate Clothing For Homeless Veterans

{click on photo to visit the video} July 14, 2011 - Jill Millard looks at the mountain of clothes and wonders how it will ever get sorted in time.

Millard is the clothes coordinator for the annual Stand Down event in Balboa Park for homeless veterans. It's a task she took on three years ago -- a year after her youngest son, Gregory, was killed in Iraq.

"You know, you see all these guys and I still get emotional; I can see what Gregory might have gone through had he come home from combat," said Millard.

Calls Growing for bush and co. Criminal Investigations

HRW Urges Investigation on Bush

July 12, 2011 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the US government to order a criminal investigation into allegations of torture of detainees during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The New York-based rights watchdog said that overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to take action.

Speaking with The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Deputy Director of HRW's Asia Division Phil Robertson said, “We try to encourage the Obama administration to do what they are required to do under the Convention against Torture.”

Has U.S. Foreign Policy Ever Been Such a Mess?

Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire

By Kevin Zeese

I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.

Why Are Veterans Issues Off The Table?

Frankly that's very easy to answer, the country refuses to demand it's own sacrifice the greater majority cheer on but don't serve in or have direct connection to, especially the political party claiming their strength on "National Security" and it's the total opposite of what's being argued as to this debt ceiling and the growing deficit itself, remember these two present conflicts were kept off the books and fought on borrowed financing until put back on the books and our spending by the present administration. All those costs include the no bid contracts of the growing private armies as well as the numerous other private contractors serving a bottom line and not the country.

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