Archive for the ‘military’ Category

Gates unaware

June 2, 2007

A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.

CNN International, quoting a Pentagon official, also reported the U.S. warship’s involvement. A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.

“This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

“We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven,” Whitman said. “The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies.”

At an international conference in Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters who asked about the Somalia reports on Saturday, “Frankly, I don’t know exactly what was going on. I’ve been on the road. And I wouldn’t be commenting on operational activities anyway.”

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Marine uniforms not allowed at political events?

June 2, 2007

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in April wearing fatigues – with military insignia removed – during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war.

Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine Corps spokesman, said Kokesh is under administrative review because he wore his uniform at a political event, which is prohibited. And, Lapan said, when a senior officer told Kokesh that he violated military regulations, Kokesh used an obscenity and indicated he would not comply with the rules.

“It’s the political activity that is prohibited, not the type of event that it was,” Lapan said. “If it had been a pro-war rally, it would still have been a violation.”

A second Marine who was at the same event was also called about the violation, but told the officer he was unaware he was breaking the rules and said he would not do it again, Lapan said. That Marine, who has not been identified, has not been called to an administrative hearing.

Army of God

June 2, 2007

Many Troops Return to War; Many Never Go
Jun 1, 9:29 PM (ET)
By PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even as troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are serving longer and more often – three, four, even five times – roughly half of Americans in uniform have not been sent at all.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t seem fair to Marine Sgt. Matthew Clark, who sits behind a desk in Illinois but has asked to “go to the fight” instead.

Clark is among some 1,000 reassigned for deployment since Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway issued a policy message early this year called “Every Marine into the Fight.”

“When they join our Corps, Marines expect to train, deploy and fight,” Conway said in the January message. “That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

By this spring, roughly 150,000 active duty soldiers, 85,000 sailors, 90,000 airmen and 65,000 Marines had gone more than once to Iraq, Afghanistan or surrounding countries. About half the total force had not deployed to either conflict, Defense Department figures show.

Fifty-three percent of the active duty Air Force and 50 percent of the Navy had not been to the wars, not surprising since the fighting is overwhelmingly on the ground.

Still, 45 percent of the Marines and 37 percent of Army forces had never been deployed.

– The military is an ever-morphing body, with people coming in and going out constantly. The four branches recruited about 180,000 just last year – meaning there are always new people still in training.

– Though the two wars are the biggest Pentagon efforts, there are tens of thousands of forces in other parts of the world, from Korea to the Philippines to Africa

“There are a lot of folks doing God’s work right here stateside that are invaluable to the people overseas,” said Col. Daniel Baggio, an Army spokesman. “The spirit of the Army is really that folks want to do their part … in any way they can. … They go where they’re told to go.”

Anyone who stays in for more than one enlistment can pretty much count on going overseas.

“We like to say there are three kinds of soldiers: those that are deployed, those that have been deployed and those that are going to be deployed,” Baggio said.

Now, there are almost 220,000 troops, airmen and sailors serving in the Iraq and Afghan campaigns – 150,000 in Iraq, 28,000 in Afghanistan and 40,000 in neighboring countries and on ships offshore

Conway’s January order directed leaders to change policies “to ensure all Marines, first termers and career Marines alike, are provided the ability to deploy to a combat zone.”

Since then, officials have been identifying people who haven’t deployed, looking at assignment lengths and making needed changes, said Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel of the Marine assignments office.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine and fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said it’s a good idea.

The Marine Corps is a “war-fighting-oriented organization,” Wood said. “People join the Marines to be operational. That’s the kind of person you’re drawing; they’re looking for excitement, engagement.”

You don’t get those things, Wood said in a football analogy, “if the same 11 guys take the field and you keep sitting on the bench.”

There are inevitably some people who don’t want to go, who are suspected of manufacturing a health problem or maneuvering into a job that will help them stay put, Pentagon officials say privately. In fact, there are those who like their location or work and don’t want any of the moves that can come with military life.

People in the military call them “homesteaders.” One is said to have worked in Washington his entire 17 years in the service and never been deployed anywhere.

Pat Tillman’s Silver Star

March 28, 2007

I do not know much about this, I think it would be wise for the US military to give out awards sparingly, and to take them away if they are given out incorrectly.

Remember the John Kerry medals controversy a few months ago?
Some were making it seem that Purple Heart’s were given out when they were not really deserved.

Also, it seems strange to give out medals and promotions to higher ranks to people not living anymore.

Bush Administration accused of illegal behavior

March 18, 2007

“This House cannot avoid its constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power,” Kucinich said on the floor today. “The Administration has been preparing for an aggressive war against Iran. There is no solid, direct evidence that Iran has the intention of attacking the United States or its allies.”

Kucinich noted that since the US “is a signatory to the U.N. Charter, a constituent treaty among the nations of the world,” and Article II states that “all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state,” then “even the threat of a war of aggression is illegal.”

“Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes such treaties the Supreme Law of the Land,” Kucinich continued. “This Administration, has openly threatened aggression against Iran in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter.”

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Kucinich_Impeachment_may_well_be_only_0315.html

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, USMC

March 16, 2007

“It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.” — Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, USMC

There are many different versions of the semi-famous statement above. It does not seem to be an actual quote from a real person; but it may contain some logical fallacies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Logical_fallacies

Who actually claims that reporters have given “us” freedom of the press?
Would not a publisher control a press anyway, not a reporter?

Who actually claims that poets have given “us” freedom of speech?
Most humans are born with the ability to speak, no soldiers required.

Who actually claims that campus organizers have given “us” the freedom to demonstrate?
Most humans are born with the ability or future ability to walk, talk, yell, sit, sing, and stand; no soldiers required.

Like an urban legend, the poem is peddled in many variations. It is usually attributed to a “Father Denis Edward O’Brien, USMC.” There’s never been a clergy in the Marines. The Navy provides the priests. But O’Brien was indeed in the Marines in World War II. He became a priest after his discharge, and died in 2002. When I reached his sister-in-law, Jenny O’Brien, in the Dallas area, she said the family has been discussing the poem “over and over and over again” in the last few months, trying to figure out its authorship because of the attention it’s gotten. Father O’Brien was an avid forwarder of e-mails. “We’re not sure whether he did this or whether someone on an e-mail picked it up and put his name on it,” Jenny O’Brien said. “He didn’t write poems, so far as I know.”

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1116-30.htm

British soldiers accused of beatings in Basra, Iraq

March 14, 2007

Mr Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was among a group of detainees arrested following a counter-insurgency operation.

Julian Bevan QC, prosecuting, said the detainees had been arrested on 14 September 2003 at the Haitham Hotel, where the army had found weapons including rifles, bayonets and suspected bomb-making equipment.

They were subsequently taken to a temporary detention centre where they were held for 36 hours and repeatedly beaten while handcuffed and forced to wear sacks on their heads, Mr Bevan said.

He told the seven-man judging panel: “One civilian, Baha Mousa, died as a result, in part, from the multiple injuries he had received.

“There were no less than 93 injuries on his body at the post-mortem stage, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.”

Other prisoners received serious kidney injuries consistent with being kicked and punched, Mr Bevan added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5360432.stm

why public executions might be dangerous

January 4, 2007

Multan – A young boy who tried to copy hanging scenes from the execution video of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein died in central Pakistan, said police on Monday.

Mubashar Ali, 9, hanged himself, while re-enacting Hussein’s hanging with the help of elder sister, 10, after tying a rope to a ceiling fan and his neck in his home in Rahim Yar Khan district on Sunday, said a local police official.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,9294,2-10-1462_2050341,00.html

Kolkata, India – A 15-year-old girl from eastern India hanged herself in response to the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, police and family members said on Thursday.

“She said they had hanged a patriot. We didn’t take her seriously when she told us that she wanted to feel the pain Saddam did during the execution,” the girl’s father, Manmohan Karmakar, told AFP by phone from the town of Kharda.

He said his daughter, called Moon Moon, had become extremely depressed after watching Saddam’s execution on television.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2051037,00.html

Police and family members said a 10-year-old boy who died by hanging himself from a bunk bed was apparently mimicking the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Sergio Pelico was found dead Sunday in his apartment bedroom in the Houston-area city of Webster, said Webster police Lt. Tom Claunch. Pelico’s mother told police he had previously watched a news report on Saddam’s death.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=4904242

1969: sonic boom breaks windows

December 20, 2006

It’s a clear August day in Kelowna, B.C. The International Regatta is on, and people are getting ready for the parade. Overhead, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerobatic team perform a graceful diamond vertical manoeuvre. And then… BOOM!

With a deafening crash, hundreds of windows suddenly shatter, spraying glass throughout an eight-block section of downtown Kelowna.

http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-75-246-1220-11/that_was_then/science_technology/kelowna

US Coast Guard

December 17, 2006

Here are some statements from the Coast Guard in case you were wondering if it was currently part of the US Department of Transportation or part of the US Navy.

The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, maritime, multi-mission service within the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to protecting the safety and security of America.

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of five branches of the US Armed Forces, and falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.