HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » unhappycamper » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 ... 49 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

Journal Archives

U.S. polygraphers questioned accuracy of tests on detainees overseas

Source: McClatchy Newspapers

A soldier is examined during Operation Iraqi Freedom at Ali Base, Iraq, March 4, 2006.

U.S. polygraphers questioned accuracy of tests on detainees overseas
By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military conducted hundreds of polygraph tests on detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan despite doubts about whether innocent civilians could be accurately separated from accused terrorists, documents obtained by McClatchy show.

The Air Force alone tested more than 1,000 detainees in Iraq to determine whether they were involved in terrorist attacks on U.S. military personnel or whether they should be released. As the screening was under way, polygraphers voiced concerns about the results, in part because they were posing questions through interpreters in a war-torn country.

“I have serious questions as to the accuracy of exams done in this environment,” wrote one polygrapher who was involved in 240 of the tests over two deployments. “I think the decision was made to contribute to the war effort . . . with little regard to the problems associated with doing these.”

The polygraphers’ observations from 2004 to 2008 offer yet another example of the U.S. military’s controversial detainee-interrogation policies overseas in the wake of 9/11. Their experiences also raise broader questions about the growing use of polygraph abroad – often with the encouragement of the U.S. government.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/12/06/176309/us-polygraphers-questioned-accuracy.html
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:37 PM (16 replies)

Official: Iran has evidence it captured US drone


This image taken Dec. 4 from the Iranian state TV's Arabic-language channel, Al-Alam, shows what Iran purports to be an intact U.S. ScanEagle drone aircraft.

Official: Iran has evidence it captured US drone
By Ali Akbar Dareini on December 05, 2012

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has material evidence to prove that it has captured an American unmanned aircraft, a prominent lawmaker in Tehran said Wednesday, rejecting U.S. Navy statements that none of its drones in the region was missing.

Tehran on Tuesday claimed to have captured a Boeing-designed ScanEagle drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf, and even showed an image of what it said was the aircraft on state TV. The Islamic Republic trumpeted its possession of an allegedly intact U.S. drone as another prize in its growing showdown with Washington over surveillance of Iran's disputed nuclear program.

"We have material evidence to prove that the drone we captured belongs to the U.S.," Ismael Kowsari, the head of the Iranian parliament's defense committee, told The Associated Press. "The unmanned aircraft took off from a warship. The Americans will have no choice but to confirm that one of their drones is missing."

Kowsari said Tehran will release more information on the aircraft soon. The ScanEagle is a slow-moving 1.4-meter (5-foot)-long craft with a wingspan of about 3 meters (10 feet).

Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:48 AM (0 replies)

Pentagon Begins Planning for Sequestration


Pentagon Begins Planning for Sequestration
4:30 PM, Dec 5, 2012

The Pentagon has officially begun planning for how it would carry out the first $50 billion across-the-board spending cut as part of the 10-year, $500 billion sequestration cuts set to take effect Jan. 2.


Pentagon spokesman George Little said that it is "prudent at this stage" to begin some initial planning. "We don't have all of the details firmed up," Little said during a Dec. 5 briefing. "Naturally, we hope very much that sequestration will be avoided."

DoD officials are "going to have to do some detailed planning at some point on the numbers and the specific consequences of sequestration, many of which we've anticipated already, and talked about very publicly," Little said. "We're not at that stage yet."

Through this planning, DoD expects to indentify specific numbers and how to communicate the ramifications of spending cuts to its 3 million-strong workforce.

So why are they starting to plan now you ask?


UPDATE 2-After months of delay, Pentagon told to plan for 'fiscal cliff'
Wed Dec 5, 2012 6:16pm EST
By David Alexander

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Wednesday the White House budget office has directed it to begin planning how to implement billions of dollars in across-the-board spending reductions if Congress and the president fail to agree to avert the cuts before Jan. 2.

The decision reversed the Pentagon's yearlong position that it was not planning for the automatic cuts, known as sequestration. The cuts were included in last year's Budget Control Act because officials thought the process was so onerous it would force rival political parties to compromise.

But no spending deal was reached. With the automatic cuts now looming Jan. 2, Pentagon spokesman George Little said the department had been directed by the White House Office of Management and Budget to begin "internal planning" for the reductions.


While the impact on Pentagon employees is a top concern, the department may also begin looking at the effect of the cuts on weapons programs and other spending.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:32 AM (0 replies)

Fiscal cliff talks aim at more defense cuts


Fiscal cliff talks aim at more defense cuts
By Donna Cassata
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — House Republicans’ “fiscal cliff” counteroffer to President Barack Obama hints at billions of dollars in military cuts on top of the nearly $500 billion that the White House and Congress backed last year, and even the fiercest defense hawks acknowledge the Pentagon faces another financial hit.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that a meat-ax approach to the Pentagon’s budget presented by sequestration would do considerable harm.

The proposal that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republican leaders sent to the White House this week calls for cuts of $300 billion in discretionary spending to achieve savings of $2.2 trillion over 10 years. The blueprint offered no specifics on the cuts, although the Pentagon and defense-related departments such as Homeland Security and State make up roughly half of the federal government’s discretionary spending.

By any credible calculation, the military, which is still coming to grips with the half-trillion-dollar cut in last year’s deficit-cutting law, is looking at an additional $10 billion to $15 billion cut in projected defense spending each year for the next decade. It’s a prospect that Republicans recognize is the new reality, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ending and deficits demanding deep cuts.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:16 AM (0 replies)

US military planners focused on Mali intervention


US military planners focused on Mali intervention
Associated Press / December 5, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. military planners are working closely with African nations in advance of an offensive to wrest control of northern Mali from al-Qaida linked extremists, Obama administration officials said Wednesday.

The cooperation reflects the increasing U.S. and international concern about the political, security and humanitarian challenges in Mali after a military coup ousted the democratically elected government this year. Capitalizing on the upheaval, al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, the best financed al-Qaida affiliate, now controls northern Mali — an area the size of Texas.

That makes it ‘‘the largest territory controlled by Islamic extremists in the world,’’ said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on African Affairs.

Officials from the State and Defense departments told senators that the United States was working with the African Union and ECOWAS, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, on a planned military action in northern Mali. But there are limits to U.S. involvement.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:11 AM (0 replies)

Marine official: Manning held improperly in brig


Marine official: Manning held improperly in brig
By DAVID DISHNEAU, Associated Press
Updated 10:03 p.m., Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — An Army private charged with sending reams of classified documents to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks was wrongly kept on suicide watch for at least seven days of his nine months' confinement at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., the Marines' chief of corrections testified Wednesday.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Abel Galaviz also said Pfc. Bradley Manning shouldn't have been stripped of all clothing during a period when he wasn't on suicide watch. And he said a board that made confinement recommendations to the brig commander used improper procedures that called into question the panel's objectivity.

Galaviz's testimony on the seventh day of a pretrial hearing was the strongest evidence the defense has produced to counter the government's claim that brig officials justifiably believed the strict conditions were needed to keep Manning from hurting or killing himself. The hearing is to determine whether those conditions, including confinement in an 8-by-6-foot cell at least 23 hours a day, amounted to illegal pretrial punishment, possibly warranting dismissal of the case.

Manning was held at Quantico in maximum custody from July 2010 to April 2011, when he was moved to medium-security confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at Quantico, Manning was on either "suicide risk" or the less-restrictive "prevention of injury" status, both involving additional security measures. Brig commanders, advised by a three-member Classification and Assignment Board, rejected psychiatrists' nearly weekly recommendations to ease Manning's restrictions, according to testimony and brig records.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:07 AM (1 replies)

Senate passes Murray measure to reform Defense suicide prevention programs


Senate passes Murray measure to reform Defense suicide prevention programs
Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Dec. 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

The Senate this week passed an amendment that would reshape the Defense Department’s behavioral health and suicide prevention programs, compelling each service to adopt common practices.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., submitted the provision to the $631 billion defense authorization bill. Her amendment mirrors a bill she submitted in June.


Her proposal seeks to standardize the Defense Department’s varied suicide prevention programs. Each branch of the armed forces takes its own approach, according to a 2011 RAND Corp. study.

The Army, Navy and Marines lack formal policies to restrict troubled service members from obtaining lethal means, and none of the armed services offer guidelines describing the benefits of reaching out for help, according to the RAND study.

Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:18 AM (1 replies)

West Point cadet quits, cites 'criminal' behavior of officers


Military Religious Freedom Foundation - Blake Page, a senior at West Point, has announced he will leave the military academy to protest what he says is unconstitutional proselytizing by officers and discrimination against non-religious cadets.

West Point cadet quits, cites 'criminal' behavior of officers
By Kari Huus, NBC News

Updated Dec. 5, 2:25 p.m. ET: Cadet Blake Page has learned from his superiors at West Point that he will be given an honorable discharge and not be required to pay "recoupment" costs for three and a half years at the military academy. He told NBC News that when out-processing is finished, he will move to Minnesota and "continue the work I've started in whatever way I can."

Original Post: A West Point cadet publicly announced his decision to quit the prestigious military academy just months before graduating to protest what he sees as the illegal infusion of military procedures and events with fundamentalist Christian proselytizing.

To call attention to his move, senior Blake Page wrote a scathing commentary on West Point, published Monday in the Huffington Post.

"Countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution," wrote Page, who was slated to graduate in May. "These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation."
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:47 AM (1 replies)

Senate lifts ban on abortion care for military rape victims


Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Senate lifts ban on abortion care for military rape victims
By David Ferguson
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 13:09 EST

For the first time since 1981, women U.S. service members who are raped and become pregnant will not have to pay for their own abortions, if a measure passed by the Senate today goes into effect. According to Huffington Post, the Senate has passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)’s amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which guarantees certain rights to service personnel who are sexually assaulted in a 98 to 0 vote. If the U.S. House of Representatives follows suit with its version of the NDAA, the amendment will be ratified into law.

Shaheen told Huffington’s Laura Basset that the central issue here is one of fairness. Civilian employees of the federal government, Medicare and Medicaid recipients and even women in federal prisons have their health expenses, including abortion, covered by their insurance plans. Women serving in the military, however, are currently expected to fend for themselves.

“It’s simply unfair that we’ve singled out the women who are putting their lives on the line in the military,” she said. “We have young women who are starting out making $18,000 a year, and they just are not able to deal with this situation on the private side when it happens to them.”


“The women who serve to protect our nation should have the same access to health care services as ordinary citizens,” he said. “If a women in our Armed Services or a female family member is the victim of rape or incest, they should receive the full support of our military, and that includes providing for all of their health care needs. This is about equality, and protecting the health and well-being of our service women and our female family members.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:52 AM (6 replies)

Is the Fleet Steaming Forward…Or Backward?


Is the Fleet Steaming Forward…Or Backward?
By Winslow WheelerDec. 05, 2012


The Balisle Report was a brutal assessment: ship maintenance went underfunded for years; one-fifth of the fleet cannot pass inspections; aircraft and ships had junk as equipment and/or insufficient spare parts; fewer than one half of deployed combat aircraft are fully mission-capable at any given time; training throughout the surface fleet has been inadequate; ships are undermanned, and returning ships are cannibalized for parts to keep others running.

The fleet was in substantially worse shape than it was in 2001. A less-comprehensive report from GAO also identified some of these problems and trends.

The prospects of finding the money to address these shortfalls are bleak: the Navy plans to put its budget emphasis on new hardware, not maintenance, and is not even certain that the limited funds it does seek for maintenance will be available.

In 2012 the Navy claimed it had made progress in addressing the deficiencies. But one of its biggest defenders in Congress, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., retorted that “the readiness trends for full-mission capability rates suggest less-than-satisfactory performance.” Vice Admiral William Burke admitted as much, saying, “I am concerned that we will not properly fund maintenance in the future.” Such worries will only be exacerbated as maintenance and training are further stressed with continued expanded deployments in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea and increased operations in the Pacific.

Part I of the series: http://nation.time.com/2012/12/03/if-more-money-buys-a-smaller-fleet-what-will-less-money-buy/
Part II of the series: http://nation.time.com/2012/12/04/more-than-the-navys-numbers-could-be-sinking/
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:06 AM (2 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 ... 49 Next »