Posts tagged Afghanistan
Posted by Judy Morris
The Crazy Neocon Newtster is Channeling Ron and Rand Paul on Foreign Policy
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading neoconservative hawk and staunch supporter of Israel, says the U.S. military interventions he has long supported to promote democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere have backfired and need to be re-evaluated.
“I am a neoconservative. But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take a deep breath to ask if our strategies in the Middle East have succeeded,” the 2012 Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview.
Mr. Gingrich supported the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, but he said he has increasingly doubted the strategy of attempting to export democracy by force to countries where the religion and culture are not hospitable to Western values.
“It may be that our capacity to export democracy is a lot more limited than we thought,” he said.
Mr. Gingrich at times has expressed doubts about the U.S. capacity for nation-building, but he said he now has formed his own conclusions about their failures in light of the experiences of the past decade.
“My worry about all this is not new,” Mr. Gingrich said. “But my willingness to reach a conclusion is new.”
Mr. Gingrich said it is time for Republicans to heed some of the anti-interventionist ideas offered by the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, tea party favorite and foreign policy skeptic.
The U.S. Government Has Awarded Contracts To Al-Qaeda In Afghanistan? This can’t be true.
Let’s just say this is disappointing.
I was going to rant on, but geez, Just leave that place. What a horrible waste.
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.
The Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars on what?
Some will always argue that “defense” is specifically enumerated in the Constitution and therefore a legitimate expenditure. It is a legitimate expenditure.
But it is “defense” which is enumerated. Policing all of the world’s sea lanes was not envisioned by our founders. Nor was maintaining an archipelago of bases in every corner of the world. This is hugely expensive and a drain on our economy back home.
(From The Daily Caller)
The military recently spent $34 million on a construction project in Afghanistan. The money was spent building a headquarters for planning U.S. military operations. Unfortunately, the structure is unoccupied and will most likely never be used. It will either be demolished or handed over to the Afghans.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State received $3.5 million from the Department of Defense to purchase land around the base to protect gophers that inhabit the area. The DOD also gave Eglin Air Force Base in Florida $1.75 million to save a tortoise habitat.*
*For the record I am a big fan of tortoises
The Michael Hastings Wreck–Video Evidence Only Deepens The Mystery
Michael Krikorian, an essayist and former Los Angeles Times crime reporter, happened upon the scene a few hours after journalist Michael Hastings’s speeding car slammed into a palm tree and burst into a fireball.
Krikorian has seen his share of fatal car wrecks. But this one was different. As he put it, “This demands a closer examination.”
In accident-investigation parlance, it was a roadway departure–a non-intersection crash in which a vehicle leaves the traveled way for some reason.
But how and why did Hastings’s Mercedes depart the traveled way, and why was it traveling so perilously fast?
In a city where there seem to be as many car wrecks as cars, North Highland Avenue in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood is not exactly Dead Man’s Curve. A fatal car accident there is rare.
Highland is a four-lane neighborhood artery as straight as a laser, with a narrow, grassy median lined with towering Washingtonia robusta palms. In the two miles between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, not a single traffic fatality was recorded on Highland from 2001 to 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. http://map.itoworld.com/road-casualties-usa#fullscreen
In the final moments of Michael Hastings’s life, the car he was operating accelerated to a treacherous speed before swerving off the pavement, mounting the median and slamming into one of the palms. There were no skid marks—no apparent attempt to brake before the collision.
Hastings, 33, covered the Iraq War as a young correspondent for Newsweek. But he made front-page news (and won the prestigious George Polk journalism prize) for his 2010 Rolling Stone magazine profile of “The Runaway General,” Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO’s security force in Afghanistan. Hastings’s story portrayed the dismissive contempt with which McChrystal and his staff viewed President Obama and Vice President Biden. The general apologized, calling the profile “a mistake reflecting poor judgment.” But he was forced to resign.
Michael Hastings was carving out a journalism niche as a muckraker, and some see nefarious forces at work in his death.
We asked Michael Krikorian for his take on the curious accident, which happened in his hometown on a block he visits several times a week. He provides the details of new video evidence that offers a few clues about the seemingly inexplicable fatality.—David J. Krajicek
By Michael Krikorian
Shortly before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18, I was walking with my girlfriend, Nancy Silverton, to get my car, which I had left the night before at her restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza, at Highland and Melrose avenues. Walking west on Melrose, we noticed crime scene tape as we arrived at Highland. Just to the south, a wrecked and charred car was being pulled away from a palm tree in the median.
We lifted the yellow tape and walked down the sidewalk to get access to the alley leading to the lot where my car was parked. A Los Angeles police officer stopped us. Nancy explained she owned the restaurant and I identified myself as a reporter. The officer let us walk on and gave a quick rundown: A man had driven into the tree at 4:30 that morning. He was dead.
My first thought was that another early morning L.A. drunk had killed himself. I told the officer that a security camera located outside the front door of the pizzeria probably captured the crash.
As we talked to the police, a Mozza employee named Gary, who has been staying at a small apartment above the restaurant, approached us to say that he had heard the crash.
“I heard a ‘whoosh,’ then what sounded like a bump and then an explosion,” he said. “I thought the building had been hit.”
He said he rushed down and saw the car ablaze. Gary listened as two men who claimed to have witnessed the crash told police the car had sped through a red light at Melrose.
Later, when the pizzeria manager arrived at work, we watched the security camera footage. There’s no wonder it was a fatality. The crash ended with a hellish explosion and fire. The officer, watching the video with us, was as stunned as we were. He said, “I have never seen a car explode like that.”
Soon, a flatbed truck with the burned Mercedes CL 250 aboard drove slowly by, going north in the southbound lanes of Highland. The front of the car, particularly on the driver’s side, was badly damaged. I snapped a couple of poor photos with my iPhone.
The Man Who Brought Down General McChrystal
Nancy and I got in my car and went home. I went on to Watts to do some reporting on another story and later to Gardena. That afternoon, I got an email from a friend to whom I had mentioned the crash. It included a link to an L.A. Times story about the wreck. My friend wrote, “The driver was a well-known journalist: Michael Hastings. What a drag. Obviously a talented guy. Wonder why he was driving so fast?”
I went online and read about Michael Hastings, the guy who brought down General McChrystal. The conspiracy theories were already being spun on the web: that a bomb had been planted in the car, or that its controls had been hacked and the crash was engineered remotely by an unseen hand.
For nearly five years, McChrystal served as chief of the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the military’s commando units, including the Army Delta Force and the Navy Seals. This was not a paper-pushing general. McChrystal was a soldier’s general who would go on raids with his men. A reporter brings him down—and then dies in a mysterious crash three years later. If this had happened in Russia, wouldn’t we all figure it was some dark military conspiracy?
I’m not a conspiracy guy, but my reporter’s instincts told me that this demands a closer examination. So I snooped around.
Mysteries on the Video Tape
“I’ve never seen an explosion like that,” said Terry Hopkins, 46, a former U.S. Navy military policeman who served in Afghanistan, told me. “I’ve seen military vehicles explode, but never quite like that. Look, here’s a reporter who brought down a general. He’s sending out emails saying he’s being watched. It’s four in the morning and his car explodes? Come on, you have to be naïve not to at least consider it wasn’t an accident.”
Copyright © 2013 WhoWhatWhy
Defense Dept. Demolishes Huge, Unused Facility in Afghanistan
Published by NextNewsNetwork
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is drawn down, the Pentagon is preparing to demolish a huge operations center that was built for the Marines.
The facility, which is located in the country’s Helmand Province, cost at least $34 million to construct. Sprawling across the bleak and dusty landscape of southwestern Afghanistan, the base is the size of a football field.
This report also includes…
NEW YORK CITY — Despite receiving widespread praise for her emphasis on good nutrition, First Lady Michelle Obama has seen several schools rebel against her school lunch standards.
CAIRO — The Obama administration, which refuses to call the recent removal of the elected Egyptian president a coup, has announced that it will not cut off foreign aid to Cairo. Several media outlets, including Al-Jazeera, have reported that the State Department funded opposition figures and non-governmental organizations that called for the military to remove now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
SALT LAKE CITY — For the past 15 years, Xmission, Utah’s first independent internet service provider, has refused demands from local, state, and federal law enforcement officials that they provide warrantless access to customer data.
New Report: Drone Strikes 10x More Deadly to Civilians than Manned Aircraft
Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage.
- Barrack Obama in a May, 23 2013 speech
I’ve never witnessed a bigger pathological liar in my entire life than U.S. President Barack Obama. Not only has pretty much every word out of his mouth been a complete and total deception since he took office, I firmly believes he fundamentally loves the act of lying. This post covers one of the biggest lies Obama has told the American public, and indeed the world, with regard to drone strikes. This lie is particularly important since I would guess at least 90% of the public believes it to be true.
A recent study by a U.S. military advisor shows that not only are drone strikes more likely to harm civilians per incident, but they are 10x more likely to do so. This lie is right up there with Obama’s recent statement that he “won’t scramble jets to capture Edward Snowden.” Of course, that’s precisely what he did yesterday. Now, from The Guardian:
A study conducted by a US military adviser has found that drone strikes in Afghanistan during a year of the protracted conflict caused 10 times more civilian casualties than strikes by manned fighter aircraft.
The new study, referred to in an official US military journal, contradicts claims by US officials that the robotic planes are more precise than their manned counterparts.
It appears to undermine the claim made by President Obama in a May speech that “conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage”.
Drone strikes in Afghanistan, the study found, according to its unclassified executive summary, were “an order of magnitude more likely to result in civilian casualties per engagement.”
Larry Lewis, a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research group with close ties to the US military, studied air strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011, using classified military data on the strikes and the civilian casualties they caused. Lewis told the Guardian he found that the missile strikes conducted by remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones, were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.
The Snowden Case What You’re Not Being Told
Published by StormCloudsGathering
Visit our website: http://StormCloudsGathering.com
When the mainstream media shows you something with their right hand, watch what the left hand is doing.
Cheney calls Snowden a traitor… ah the irony: http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/06/16/…
Snowden is on the run seeking asylum in Ecuador: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/23/pol…
Information regarding NSA domestic spying dating back to 2005: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/…
These are just a fraction of the articles available.
A more revealing leak:
U.N. Launches an investigation: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/…
U.N. says the gas was used by the rebels: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middl…
Then France claims rebels used Sarin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middl…
The U.S. gov. likes version angle, so they’ll run with it. CIA to arm and train the rebels: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/…
Iran sending troops to Syria: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wor…
China warns against use of force in Syria and Iran: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/wor…
Shared by Michael Krieger
Obama is Called a “War Criminal” & “Hypocrite of the Century” in Irish Parliament
I had never heard of Clare Daly before yesterday, but I have a sneaking suspicion we are all going to be hearing a lot more from her in the months and years ahead. This speech in front of the Irish Parliament is not only blistering and articulate, but more importantly demonstrates further evidence that anger and frustration over the rampant criminality of American oligarchs and war mongering chicken hawks is bubbling up from the street level toward parliaments worldwide. She is right to focus on Obama’s latest policy to arm Syria rebels, which on record have Al Qaeda elements within them. What a brave and honest woman. Enjoy!
Posted by PlanetEarthAwakens01
After reading the news of Michael Hastings deadly car crash on the Economic Policy Journal.com and sharing Robert Wenzel’s post, Robert has added additional information in various posts that I will combine below for ease of reading. I would recommend readers to tune in to the Economic Policy Journal.com for future updates to this story plus a slew of great information on a wide range of topics.
Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security[...]
The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008.
The definitive video of the incident can be found here. It features everything you’d want in a crash story, including:
The ejected motor and transmission
Video of the car burning with the fury of a thousand suns[...]
I’m not here to speak ill of the dead. I’m here to state that I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category.
Nor is the C-Class known for sudden veering out of control into trees and whatnot. My father’s been running a C350 of that generation around Hilton Head for a while and if anybody could make a C-Class veer into a palm tree without warning it would be him.
And this from Wikileaks:
Wikileaks reports that investigative reporter Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died in a fiery car crash, saying that the FBI was investigating him.
Photo source: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com
Reporter Who Brought Down General Stanley McChrystal Is Dead at 33
Michael Hastings, the journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone reports. He was 33.
Hastings’ 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, “The Runaway General,” captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post.
Photo from the scene:
The Los Angeles Police Department said the crash occurred about 4:25 a.m. in the 600 block of North Highland Avenue.
The vehicle crossed a median, struck a tree and burst into flames in the Hancock Park area, LAPD Officer Christopher No said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I was just coming northbound on Highland and I seen a car, like, going really fast and all of a sudden I seen it jackknife,” Luis Cortez, who witnessed the wreck, told KTLA News. “I just seen parts fly everywhere and I slammed on my brakes and stopped and tried to call 911.”
Photo source: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com
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