HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » unhappycamper » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 49 Next »

unhappycamper

Profile Information

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

Journal Archives

Department of Veterans Affairs to track how veterans die

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/va-to-track-how-veterans-die/nTc9W/

Department of Veterans Affairs to track how veterans die
Updated: 10:39 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 | Posted: 10:39 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012
By Jeremy Schwartz
American-Statesman Staff

More than two months after the American-Statesman detailed how hundreds of Texas veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have died since coming home — and the government’s failure to adequately track them — the Department of Veterans Affairs said it will launch a mortality study that will seek similar information for veterans nationwide.

While the VA has periodically studied suicide among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, it has done far less to understand other causes of death, including drug overdose. A six-month Statesman investigation found that nearly as many Texas veterans had died after taking prescription medicine as have committed suicide.

Using autopsy results, toxicology reports, inquests and accident reports from more than 50 agencies throughout the state, the Statesman determined the causes of death for 266 Texas veterans who served in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and were receiving Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits when they died. It was the first time a comprehensive view of how recent Texas veterans are dying has been produced.

The Statesman investigation found that the VA doesn’t track individual causes of death for the veterans it serves, and until now, hasn’t publicly released a comprehensive breakdown of causes of death. Critics said the shortcoming prevents the VA from understanding the full scope of the problems facing those who fought over the past decade.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:18 AM (0 replies)

Revealed: U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year alone - more than the entire d

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2251418/Revealed-U-S-carried-333-drone-strikes-Afghanistan-year--entire-drone-strikes-Pakistan-past-years-COMBINED.html



Revealed: U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year alone - more than the entire drone strikes in Pakistan over the past eight years COMBINED
By Beth Stebner
PUBLISHED: 20:00 EST, 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 20:00 EST, 20 December 2012

The United States carried out more drone strikes in Afghanistan this year than it has done in all the years put together in Pakistan since it launched the covert air war there eight years ago, it has been revealed.

The statistics, published by the U.S. Air Force and published by Wired’s Danger Room blog, show that there were 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012 alone, up from 294 in the previous year and 278 in 2010.

It is far more than an estimated 338 strikes carried out by the CIA in Pakistan since it began hunting down remnants of al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas eight years ago.



~snip~

According to the military report, there was an average of 33 drone strikes per month in 2012, up from an average of 24.5 the year before.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:07 AM (0 replies)

Drone Wars: Berkeley Considers Ban On Robotic Aircraft

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/21/drone-wars-come-home-as-berkeley-considers-ban-on-robotic-aircraft/



Drone Wars: Berkeley Considers Ban On Robotic Aircraft
12/21/2012 @ 12:09PM

The city of Berkeley, Calif., this week took the first steps toward a ban on drones as the autonomous aircraft deployed in the war on terrorism are being embraced for local law enforcement.

The debate over creating a No Drone Zone in this famously left-wing stronghold is likely to be repeated across the U.S. as ever-smaller drones equipped with high-definition cameras and sensors take to the skies with the ability to collect vast amounts of data on citizens.


While the Federal Aviation Administration is drafting rules for the deployment of drones in domestic airspace the use of drones to collect information remains largely unregulated.

On Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council considered a resolution drafted by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission that would create an ordinance to ban the use of drones in Berkeley airspace and bar the police department and any other municipal agency from deploying drones. An exemption would be made for hobbyists as long as their drones are flown in non-urban areas and don’t carry cameras. Violators could be fined $10,000 and sentenced to a year in prison.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:54 AM (1 replies)

Navy SEAL commander dead in Afghanistan in suspected suicide

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/24/us-usa-afghanistan-seal-idUSBRE8BN00T20121224



Navy SEAL commander dead in Afghanistan in suspected suicide
WASHINGTON | Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:47pm EST

(Reuters) - The commander of an elite U.S. Navy SEAL unit has died in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said on Sunday, and a U.S. military official said his death was being investigated as a suspected suicide.

Commander Job Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, died on Saturday of a non-combat related injury in central Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"~snip~

Price, was assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and was the commanding officer of SEAL Team Four. He failed to show up for an event on Saturday and colleagues found him dead in his quarters, the U.S. military official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

NBC News and CNN also quoted unnamed military officials as saying that the death was being looked at as a possible suicide.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:50 AM (0 replies)

In Afghan Taliban birthplace, US troops step back

http://www.omaha.com/article/20121223/AP15/312239959#in-afghan-taliban-birthplace-us-troops-step-back

In Afghan Taliban birthplace, US troops step back
By PATRICK QUINN
Published Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 10:37 am / Updated at 10:37 am

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan (AP) - President Barak Obama will decide in the coming weeks how many American troops to send home from Afghanistan next year. A major factor in his decision will be the question of how successful U.S. troops have been in preparing the Afghans to secure their country at bases like this one, located in one of the country's most violent areas - the birthplace of the Taliban.

There have been calls in Congress for Obama to increase the size of a planned drawdown of U.S. forces before the end of summer 2013, when the Afghan military is supposed to take the lead in security across the country. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as well, has suggested he wants the drawdown accelerated.

"We are working to make this transition of security happen sooner. We want all the foreign forces to come out of the villages and go to their bases so the Afghan forces can carry out security," Karzai said last week.

But too large a pullout too soon could undermine the fight against the Taliban insurgency if Afghan forces are not fully prepared. It is widely thought that Gen. John Allen, the top military commander in Afghanistan, and his senior staff want to keep a large force in place for the summer fighting season, before international forces move into an entirely back-up and training role behind the Afghan forces by the start of autumn - an event known as "Milestone 13."
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:23 AM (1 replies)

Army teams going to Africa as terror threat grows

http://www.omaha.com/article/20121224/AP13/312249985#army-teams-going-to-africa-as-terror-threat-grows



In this Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 photo, Gen. Carter Ham, head of the U.S. African command, attends a conference on terrorism in the Sahara in Algiers, Algeria. A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations in early 2013, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge. Ham, the top U.S. commander in Africa, noted that the brigade has a small drone capability that could be useful in Africa. But he also acknowledged that he would need special permission to tap it for that kind of mission.

Army teams going to Africa as terror threat grows
By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Published Monday, December 24, 2012 at 4:21 am / Updated at 4:21 am

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge.

~snip~

The sharper focus on Africa by the U.S. comes against a backdrop of widespread insurgent violence across North Africa, and as the African Union and other nations discuss military intervention in northern Mali.

The terror threat from al-Qaida linked groups in Africa has been growing steadily, particularly with the rise of the extremist Islamist sect Boko Haram in Nigeria. Officials also believe that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which killed the ambassador and three other Americans, may have been carried out by those who had ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

This first-of-its-kind brigade assignment - involving teams from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division - will target countries such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger, where al-Qaida-linked groups have been active. It also will assist nations like Kenya and Uganda that have been battling al-Shabab militants on the front lines in Somalia.



---

What could possibly go wrong?
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:10 AM (0 replies)

Afghan policewoman kills US adviser in Kabul

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20835328

Afghan policewoman kills US adviser in Kabul
24 December 2012 Last updated at 04:38 ET

It is believed to be the first such insider attack carried out by a woman.

In a separate incident, at least six local policemen were killed by another officer in northern Afghanistan.

There has been a rise in incidents in which Afghan security forces members have shot dead either foreign personnel or their own colleagues.

In Monday's attack in Kabul, Afghan officials say, a female officer at the interior ministry came looking for the police chief at the heavily secured headquarters.



unhappycamper comment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_a_thousand_cuts

Death by a thousand cuts
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Death By A Thousand Cuts can refer to:

* Creeping normalcy, the way a major negative change, which happens slowly in many unnoticed increments, is not perceived as objectionable
* Slow slicing, a form of torture and execution originating from Imperial China
* Death by a Thousand Cuts (album), an album by Leng Tch'e
* Death by a Thousand Cuts (book), a non-fiction book about a form of torture and capital punishment in Imperial China.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:48 AM (0 replies)

Another Homeland Security FAIL: Pricey state radio system catches static on reliability

http://www.omaha.com/article/20121223/NEWS/712239935/1688#pricey-state-radio-system-catches-static-on-reliability

Pricey state radio system catches static on reliability
By Paul Hammel
WORLD-HERALD BUREAU
Published Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 10:22 pm

LINCOLN — By the time a State Patrol SWAT team had arrived on a quiet June morning, a drug addict had already shot up an Alliance, Neb., pharmacy, taken the owner hostage and wounded a local police officer.

The gunman, armed with an AK-47, was resisting calls to give up and was shooting at any sound he heard.

But law enforcement had another problem during the 14-hour standoff.

Digital radios carried by state troopers — part of the state's new, $17.3 million communications system that went into effect nearly two years ago — weren't working. Responders not only had trouble talking with each other and their command post, but also to the dozens of police and deputies from other agencies who responded.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 08:40 AM (0 replies)

The coming drone attack on America

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/21/coming-drone-attack-america



By 2020, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 drones will be in use in US domestic airspace.

The coming drone attack on America
Naomi Wolf
guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 December 2012 14.36 EST

People often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.

In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds – meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.

Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.

An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)

---

Here's the Air Force's April 2012 guidance on drones: http://cbsla.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/drones1.pdf
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 08:14 AM (2 replies)

IG in Afghanistan: $201M in fuel purchases untraceable

http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/ig-in-afghanistan-201m-in-fuel-purchases-untraceable-1.201476

IG in Afghanistan: $201M in fuel purchases untraceable
By Heath Druzin
Stars and Stripes
Published: December 21, 2012

KABUL — More than $200 million in Department of Defense fuel purchases for the Afghan army remain unaccounted for because officers improperly destroyed documents, according to a report released Thursday by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.


---

If you take the time to read the article you will also see some of the corruption that has contributed to this massive fraud and waste.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:30 AM (0 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 49 Next »